Baltic Sea herring (Clupea harengus) have been shown to exhibit morphological differences across the marked salinity and temperature gradients in the region. Here we analyse genetic (nine microsatellite loci), morpho metric (skull shape), and meristic (pectoral fin rays and number of vertebrae) variations across seven samples of spawning herring collected from four spawning locations in the Baltic Sea to examine whether morphological variation correlates with genetic and (or) environmental factors. Results suggest that herring is adapting to its environment through a combination of selection and plastic responses. Skull shape, including and excluding size variation, differed significantly among samples, both temporally and spatially. Genetic and morphometric distances were correlated, especially when size variation was excluded from the analysis. When size variation was included, skull shape variation was more closely correlated with environmental distances among spawning locations. Vertebrate number differed among samples and was correlated with environmental distances, whereas the number of fin rays was not. Genetic and geographic distances among samples were not correlated.
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|