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Morphometric variation in bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and green sunfish Lepomis cyanellus in lentic and lotic systems

Morphometric variation in bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and green sunfish Lepomis cyanellus in lentic and lotic systems

Journal of Fish Biology 86(1): 317-332

ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1112

PMID: 25425144

DOI: 10.1111/jfb.12581

Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and green sunfish Lepomis cyanellus were examined using geometric morphometrics to evaluate the variation in morphology between fishes that reside in lentic (e.g. lakes) and lotic (e.g. streams) ecosystems. Live fishes were collected from reservoirs and rivers in central Indiana, while additional fishes were sampled from museum collections at Ball State University and the Illinois Natural History Survey. Male and female L. macrochirus and female L. cyanellus from lentic systems display a deeper body than those from lotic systems, while no differences were found in male L. cyanellus morphometry. A deeper body promotes greater manoeuverability, typically desirable in lentic systems. In contrast, the more streamlined body of the fishes found in lotic systems reduces drag as it contends with flowing water, ultimately maximizing energy efficiency. The absence of morphological differences, such as those found in male L. cyanellus, may be caused by fish occupying both lentic and lotic systems, from the population not having been present in the body of water long enough to display any adaptations, or from a lack of statistical power caused by the small sample size.

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Accession: 054470241

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