Habitat complexity modulates phenotype expression through developmental plasticity in the threespine stickleback

Garduno-Paz, M.V., Couderc, S. and Adams, C.E. (2010) Habitat complexity modulates phenotype expression through developmental plasticity in the threespine stickleback. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 100(2), pp. 407-413. (doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2010.01423.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2010.01423.x

Abstract

The expression of alternative phenotypes within a single species is often considered to be the result of ontogenetic processes and specifically phenotypic plasticity responses to exposure to different environmental conditions. In fish, which have been widely used to test such questions, exposure to different diets is the most frequently described initiator of plastic responses. The effect of physical characteristics of the habitat on fish morphology has not been fully explored. In the present study, a clear effect of habitat complexity on fish shape was found. Threespine sticklebacks were exposed to two different habitat treatments, simple and complex, over a 17-week period. The exposure to the habitats resulted in the expression of very significant differences in body and head morphologies and spine position, showing that the physical environment can modulate the expression of traits through phenotypic plasticity during ontogeny

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Adams, Professor Colin
Authors: Garduno-Paz, M.V., Couderc, S., and Adams, C.E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
ISSN:0024-4066

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