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Has habitat heterogeneity promoted phenotypic and ecological sub-structuring among a Coregonus lavaretus population in a large Scottish lake?

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Differences in stable-isotope values, morphology and ecology in whitefish Coregonus lavaretus were investigated between the three basins of Loch Lomond. The results are discussed with reference to a genetic investigation to elucidate any substructuring or spawning site fidelity. Foraging fidelity between basins of Loch Lomond was indicated by 13C and 15N values of C. lavaretus muscle tissue. There was, however, no evidence of the existence of sympatric morphs in the C. lavaretus population. A previous report of two C. lavaretus‘species’ in Loch Lomond probably reflects natural variation between individuals within a single mixed population.

Keywords: Loch Lomond; morphometrics; morphs; stable-isotope analysis; sympatry; thin plate spline

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Scottish Natural Heritage, Caspian House, Clydebank Business Park, Clydebank, Glasgow G81 2NR, U.K. 2: Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Glasgow University, Rowardennan, Glasgow G63 0AW, U.K.

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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