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Morphological variation of Transcaucasian chub, Squalius turcicus in southern Caspian Sea basin using geometric morphometric technique

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Abstract

This work was conducted to study the patterns of morphological differences in body shape in Squalius turcicus De Filippi, 1865 from the most east (Atrak River) to the most west (Aras River) populations of the southern Caspian Sea basin using landmark-based geometric morphometric method to understand how the body shape alters in relation to geographical alternations or environmental characters of their habitats. A total of 102 specimens were collected from the Aras, Tajan, Atrak, Ghareh-Su, Khyer and Sefid rivers and after anesthesia, their left faces were photographed. To extract shape data, 14 homologous landmark-points were digitized and data after generalized procrustes analysis, analysed using principal component analysis, canonical variate analysis, cluster analysis, and Mantel test. The results showed significant differences between the body shape of six studied populations, mostly related to snout, base of the dorsal and anal-fins, body depth and pectoral fin position as result of phenotypic plasticity to the environmental features of their habitats. The Tajan and Atrak populations have a higher and lower body depth, and the Kheyr population a longer snout.

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Correspondence to Soheil Eagderi.

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In this manuscript, we studied the patterns of morphological variations in Squalius turcicus form the most east (Atrak River) to the most west (Aras River) populations of the southern Caspian Sea basin using landmark-based geometric morphometric method. We confirm that all procedures performed in this study involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Nevsehir Hacı Bektas Veli University, Republic of Turkey (animal welfare committee, permission number: KSÜZİRHADYEK-2009/1).

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Mouludi-Saleh, A., Eagderi, S., Cicek, E. et al. Morphological variation of Transcaucasian chub, Squalius turcicus in southern Caspian Sea basin using geometric morphometric technique. Biologia (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-019-00409-6

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Keywords

  • Landmark
  • Morphometrics
  • Morphological difference
  • Freshwater