• Toline, Anna C.
  • Baker, Allan J.


Hypotheses about the role of selection on body-shape evolution assume a heritable component to this phenotypic character. To examine the influence of environmental induction on body shape, offspring form two morphologically differentiated populations of northern redbelly dace (Phoxinus eos) were reared in a common laboratory environment. Additionally, shape changes were monitored over 3 consecutive years in six populations. Offspring reared in a common environment retained the body shape of individuals from their natal pond, and shape changes among fish in different ponds were maintained in natural populations over years. These results strongly suggest a heritable component to body shape in Peos. These results complement earlier work examining foraging tactics as a potential selection pressure on body shape and support the conclusion that body-shape differences among fish in different ponds are being maintained by selection for foraging ability.