Ontogeny of Feeding-Ecological Morphology in the Sympatric Sunfishes, Lepomis macrochirus and Lepomis microlophus
- Sympatric species maintain divergent food habits (feeding ecology) in order to release each other from competing for limited food resources (1, 2).
- Two congeners coexist in North American lakes: suction-feeding bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus feeds primarily on soft, elusive, and planktonic prey whereas durophagous redear, Lepomis microlophus eats hard-shelled invertebrates such as clams (1, 2).
- Is ecological divergence consistent with functional or biomechanical divergence in these sympatric fishes?
- This study compares growth trajectories of feeding biomechanics that underlie feeding performance in sympatric Florida sunfishes with the dietary prey items.
Zbasnik, Nathaniel, "Ontogeny of Feeding-Ecological Morphology in the Sympatric Sunfishes, Lepomis macrochirus and Lepomis microlophus" (2015). Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences Student Publications. 20.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ralph G. Turingan