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Stickleback pelvic reduction

posted on 14.11.2017, 17:02 by Jeffrey WalkerJeffrey Walker
Reimchen hypothesized that pelvic reduction in threespine stickleback is favored by an absence of piscivorous fishes and the resulting increase in predation by insects, but Giles hypothesized that the predation regime is unimportant and that a low dissolved calcium concentration favors evolution of pelvic reduction. Substantial pelvic reduction in threespine stickleback sampled from 179 lakes around Cook Inlet, Alaska is strongly associated both with an absence of predatory fishes and a low calcium concentration. However, the association of pelvic reduction with low calcium concentration appears to be contingent on the absence of predatory fishes. These results emphasize the importance of interactions between seemingly unrelated environmental variables for selection of a single trait. However, these results also conflict with some observations elsewhere and do not rule out the possibility that other environmental factors are important for selection for pelvic reduction in threespine stickleback.