Evol Ecol Res 7: 767-778 (2005)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Behavioural and morphological responses to cannibalism in Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus)

Jens Andersson* and Lennart Persson

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: jens.andersson@emg.umu.se


Question: Does cannibalism lead to resource polymorphism in young Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus, Pisces)?

Hypothesis: Cannibals should evoke a low-activity morph that is well adapted to benthivory but not planktivory, and which differs in morphology compared with a planktivorous morph.

Methods: We reared young-of-the-year charr in laboratory aquaria with and without larger cannibalistic charr present. Thereafter, we measured foraging efficiency on pelagic and benthic resources, swimming speed when foraging, and morphology of the young charr.

Conclusions: Living among cannibals did not affect the morphology of the young charr. It also did not affect the foraging efficiency of the young charr on the benthic resource. However, individuals from cannibal treatments swam closer and had lower foraging efficiency on the pelagic resource.

Keywords: geometric morphometrics, phenotypic plasticity, predation risk, resource polymorphism.

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