Critical thermal maxima (CTM) and genetic variation were compared for red shiners, Notropis lutrensis, from regulated and unregulated sites on the Brazos River in northcentral Texas. Tailwater fish acclimated to 25°C had significantly lower CTM's than those from a site upstream from the dam and unregulated downstream sites. Significantly different intrasite variances were observed, with two- and four-fold larger CTM variances in fish from within 1 km and 30 km of the dam. Genetic variation was determined from electrophoretic comparisons at 21 structural gene loci. Mean heterozygosity was greatest at regulated sites. Tests for locus heterogeneity at five variable loci indicated that regulated and unregulated populations are not homogeneous. Fish under regulation were genetically more similar to each other than they were to those not affected by regulation. The proportions of the gene variance attributable to habitat alteration were partitioned, and fully one-third of the gene variation was attributed to stream regulation. Patterns of variation in thermal tolerance and metabolic enzymes in the red shiner correlated closely with temperature regimes associated with hypolimnion release from the dam. These adaptive responses have occurred in less than 40 years.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science