US Long-Term Ecological Research Network
Metabolic stores of yellow perch (Perca flavescens): comparison of populations from an acidic, dystrophic lake and circumneutral, mesotrophic lakes
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Little is known about the animals that occupy naturally acidic habitats. To better understand the physiological state of animals from temperate, naturally acidic systems, we compared metabolite stores and meristics of two yellow perch (Perca flavescens) populations in northern Wisconsin. One population originated from a naturally acidic, dystrophic lake (Acid-Lake-Perch, ALP) and had previously been shown to have enhanced tolerance to low pH. The second population came from two nearby interconnected circumneutral, mesotrophic lakes (Neutral-Lake-Perch, NLP). Perch were collected throughout the year to account for seasonal effects and to discern whether patterns of metabolite utilization differed between populations. ALP had smaller livers containing less glycogen and greater muscle glycogen content than NLP. The ALP also had significantly greater liver and visceral lipid contents, and females from this population committed a greater fraction of their body mass to egg production. We interpret these results as indicative of physiological divergence at the population level in yellow perch. These results are discussed as possible products of H+ -driven changes in metabolism and as possible products of different life history strategies between populations. Our results also show that perch living in acidic, dystrophic Wharton Lake are not acid stressed.