Morphological Variation and Trophic Partitioning Among Central Mexican Lake Silversides

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Powell, Daniel
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Central Mexican Lakes Silversides species (i.e. Chirostoma) show limited genetic variation for individuals with significant levels of morphological variation. Trophic partitioning is believed to influence the elevated diversity in the region but is not well understood. This study examined the association between diet and morphology, focusing on internal digestive anatomy and head shape. Dissections were performed to determine relative intestine length as related to trophic position. No clear relationship was determined. Head shape was analyzed using geometric morphometric analysis to help quantify replicated patterns of divergence between lakes. Results largely support independent divergence along the same axes in mophospace.