Latitudinal and ecological correlates of morphological variation in Galaxias platei (Pisces, Galaxiidae) in Patagonia

Authors

  • DANIELA MILANO,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
    2. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina
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  • DANIEL E. RUZZANTE,

    1. Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4JI
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  • VICTOR E. CUSSAC,

    1. Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
    2. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina
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  • PATRICIO J. MACCHI,

    1. Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
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  • RICARDO A. FERRIZ,

    1. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • JUAN P. BARRIGA,

    1. Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
    2. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina
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  • JUANA C. AIGO,

    1. Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
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  • MARIA E. LATTUCA,

    1. Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
    2. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina
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  • SANDRA J. WALDE

    1. Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4JI
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Present address: Lab. Fotobiología, Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Quintral 1250, (8400) Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina. Email: danielamilano@yahoo.com

Abstract

We examined the morphological variability (23 morphometric traits) among individual Galaxias platei (N = 380) collected from 20 postglacial lakes in the southern Andes. The lakes were chosen to cover the latitudinal range of the species in Patagonia. Diet examined for a subset of these fish (N = 261) collected during the summer months (January through March), differed among river basins but there were no clear latitudinal trends in the consumption of any prey type. Diet may, however, have partially shaped morphology, as pelvic measures were negatively correlated with consumption of amphipods. Substantial differentiation among populations was observed, primarily in the shape and dimensions of the head, in caudal morphology and in fin length. Our results indicate that the morphology of G. platei varies with latitude, and may be related to risk of predation and diet. © 2006 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2006, 87, 69–82.

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