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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Trophic Ecology and Morphology in a Desert Fish Species in Cuatro Ciengas, Mexico

EPA Grant Number: U915919
Title: Trophic Ecology and Morphology in a Desert Fish Species in Cuatro Ciengas, Mexico
Investigators: Swanson, Brook O.
Institution: Northern Arizona University
EPA Project Officer: Boddie, Georgette
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2004
Project Amount: $75,705
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Aquatic Ecosystems , Fellowship - Aquatic Ecology and Ecosystems



The objective of this research project is to investigate the evolutionary ecology of a polymorphic species of Mexican cichlid (Herichthys minckleyi). This research has implications for our understanding of the evolution of species and the maintenance of morphological diversity. More broadly, this research has implications for the conservation of diversity in endangered desert aquatic systems.


My research to date has included several studies. Work on competition ecology demonstrates reduced intraspecific competition between different morphotypes; work on habitat use and feeding behavioral ecology has demonstrated interesting patterns of resource partitioning in the habitat; and laboratory studies of morphological plasticity have helped us understand the nature of the polymorphism in this species. We are using our findings to contribute to management and conservation in the protected area where these fish are found. These studies allow us to construct a comprehensive picture of the evolutionary ecology of this interesting protected species.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, desert fish, Herichthys minckleyi, Mexico, endangered, evolutionary ecology., RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Aquatic Ecosystems & Estuarine Research, Aquatic Ecosystem, Environmental Monitoring, Ecology and Ecosystems, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, International, Country & Regional Programs, nutrient dynamics, trophic levels, morphology, fish, nutrient enrichment, nutrients, ecological variation, fish communities, restoration strategies, endangered desert aquatic systems, aquatic ecosystems, nutrient regeneration, Mexico

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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