Heterochrony in skeletal development and body size in progeny of two morphs of Arctic charr from Thingvallavatn, Iceland

G. M. Eiríksson*, S. Skúlason, S. S. Snorrason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Planktivorus Arctic charr had larger eggs than small benthivorous charr and the progeny of the former were longer (total length) at days 125, 145 and 159 after fertilization. Size differences remained significant after the removal of egg size effect on embryo size. Size of hybrid progeny tended to be similar to their maternal pure progeny group, suggesting maternal effects not directly related to yolk volume. In general, fin ray number increased faster in small benthivorous charr progeny than in planktivorous charr progeny, hybrid progeny tending to have intermediate fin ray numbers. The results indicate that morph differences in embryonic growth and skeletal development have a genetic and maternal component. Results support the hypothesis that in the period from hatching until just after first external feeding small benthivorous charr allocate more energy towards bone development, e.g. formation of fin rays, while planktivorous charr allocate more energy to body growth. The different developmental trajectories may reflect adaptations to discrete differences in habitats between the morphs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume55
Issue numberSUPPL. A
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999

Other keywords

  • Diverging evolution
  • Early skeletal development
  • Embryonic growth
  • Resource polymorphism

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