Ecomorphological Diversity of Lake Trout at Isle Royale, Lake Superior


November 24, 2014 - Author: A. M. Muir, C. R. Bronte, M. S. Zimmerman, H.R.Quinlan, J. D. Glase & C. C.Krueger

Journal or Book Title: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society

Volume/Issue: 143:4

Page Number(s): 972-987

Year Published: 2014

Four Lake Trout Salvelinus namaycush morphs were identified from Isle Royale, Lake Superior; the morphs differed in shape, traits linked to feeding and locomotion, buoyancy, and physical habitat use. Lean, humper, and siscowet Lake Trout generally conformed to previous descriptions, and we report, for the first time, quantitative evidence of a fourth morph, previously described anecdotally as the “redfin.” Jackknife classification of individuals to morphs based on body shape were 94% correct. High variation within and low variation among morphs led to moderately low percent agreement among visual identifications and high uncertainty in Bayesian model groupings of morphs. Eight linear measures of phenotypic traits linked to feeding (i.e., head and eyes) and locomotion (i.e., fin lengths and caudal peduncle shape) varied among morphs, consistent with specialized adaptations for trophic and physical resource use. Habitat differed among morphs with leans being most abundant in the 0–50-m depth stratum and siscowets most abundant in two deeper strata (50–100 and 100–150 m). Differences in capture depth and percent buoyancy reflected physical habitat and known trophic resource partitioning among morphs. While the historical fingerprint of morphological and ecological diversity in Lake Superior Lake Trout persists, it is unknown whether the contemporary low level of differentiation is due to ecological release without subsequent reorganization or to a complete breakdown of differentiation.

DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2014.900823

Type of Publication: Journal Article



Charles Krueger

Charles Krueger

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