We analyzed buoyancy in two deepwater ciscoes, Coregonus hoyi and C. kiyi, and in C. artedi, their putative ancestor, and also analyzed how variations in fish weight, water content, and lipid content affected buoyancy. Buoyancy was significantly different among the three species (p < 0.0001). Estimates of percent buoyancy (neutral buoyancy = 0.0%) were: kiyi, 3.8%; hoyi, 4.7%; and artedi, 5.7%. Buoyancy did not change with fish weight alone (p = 0.38). Fish weight was negatively related to water content for all three species (p = 0.037). Lipid content was not significantly different between hoyi and kiyi, but artedi had significantly fewer lipids than hoyi and kiyi (p < 0.10). When artedi was removed from the analysis, fish weight and lipids accounted for 48% of the variation in buoyancy (p = 0.003), fatter hoyi were less dense than leaner hoyi, but fatter and leaner kiyi were no different in density. Our findings provide additional evidence that buoyancy regulation was a speciating mechanism in deepwater ciscoes and that kiyi is more specialized than hoyi for diel-vertical migration in deep water.
Additional publication details
Buoyancy differences among two deepwater ciscoes from the Great Lakes and their putative ancestor