Adaptation to freshwater may be expected to reduce performance in seawater because these environments represent opposing selective regimes. We tested for such a trade-off in populations of the Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus). Alewives are ancestrally anadromous, and multiple populations have been independently restricted to freshwater (landlocked). We conducted salinity challenge experiments, whereby juvenile Alewives from one anadromous and multiple landlocked populations were exposed to freshwater and seawater on acute and acclimation timescales. In response to acute salinity challenge trials, independently derived landlocked populations varied in the degree to which seawater tolerance has been lost. In laboratory-acclimation experiments, landlocked Alewives exhibited improved freshwater tolerance, which was correlated with reductions in seawater tolerance and hypo-osmotic balance, suggesting that trade-offs in osmoregulation may be associated with local adaptation to freshwater. We detected differentiation between life-history forms in the expression of an ion-uptake gene (NHE3), and in gill Na+/K+-ATPase activity. Trade-offs in osmoregulation, therefore, may be mediated by differentiation in ion-uptake and salt-secreting pathways.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Trade-offs in osmoregulation and parallel shifts in molecular function follow ecological transitions to freshwater in the Alewife|
|Publisher||Society for the Study of Evolution|
|Contributing office(s)||Leetown Science Center|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|