Ontogenetic induced shifts in the ecology of sunbleak Leucaspius delineatus during early development
Authors: Pinder, A., Gozlan, R.E. and Beyer, K.
Journal: Journal of Fish Biology
Using the non-native sunbleak Leucaspius delineatus as a model, the relationship between ontogeny and ecology was studied with a view to identifying specific morphological and physiological processes involved in influencing ecological niche shifts. Following a predefined saltatory model for the early ontogeny of sunbleak, field studies examined the temporal use of microhabitat, diet and morphological changes throughout early development. Following a dramatic shift in both morphology and ecology between the free embryo phase and the larval period, habitat use and diet showed little change during the larval period, with habitat use confined to marginal, vegetated areas and prey items associated with these habitats well represented in the diet. During the final larval step (L5), transition to the juvenile period resulted in the stabilization of relative growth, acquisition of the adult morphotype and was associated with a clear shift in diet and habitat use. During this period, sunbleak moved for the first time into open, deeper water, away from the banks, and utilized a similar range of food items to the adults. Specific relationships between form and function are further discussed. # 2005 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles
Preferred by: Adrian Pinder