Fishes often exhibit phenotypic divergence across gradients of abiotic and biotic selective pressures. In streams, many of the known selective pressures driving phenotypic differentiation are largely influenced by hydrologic regimes. Because flow regimes drive so many attributes of lotic systems, we hypothesized fish exhibit phenotypic divergence among streams with different flow regimes. We used a comparative field study to investigate the morphological divergence of Campostoma anomalom (central stonerollers) among streams characterized by highly variable, intermittent flow regimes and streams characterized by relatively stable, groundwater flow regimes. We also conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the plastic effects of one component of flow regimes, water velocity, on morphology of fish from different flow regimes. We observed differences in shape between flow regimes likely driven by differences in allometric growth patterns. Although we observed differences in morphology across flow regimes in the field, C. anomalum did not exhibit morphologic plasticity in response to water velocity alone. This study contributes to the understanding of how complex environmental factors drive phenotypic divergence and may provide insight into the evolutionary consequences of disrupting natural hydrologic patterns, which are increasingly threatened by climate change and anthropogenic alterations.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Hydrologic regimes as potential drivers of morphologic divergence in fish|
|Series title||Evolutionary Ecology|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Atlanta|