Comparing anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta in small, neighbouring catchments across contrasting landscapes

What is the role of environment in determining life-history characteristics?

M. Thomson, A. R. Lyndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Study of anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta in Orkney, U.K., burns (small streams) with a common-garden sea in Scapa Flow supports the key role of nutrient availability in fresh water, independent of day length, as a determinant of smolt age, with a systematic increase in mean smolt age from 1 to 3 years related inversely to productivity. Whole catchment (8 km2) population budgets indicated annual smolt production of around 650 individuals from approximately 100 spawners. Egg-to-smolt survival was 0·65%, while marine survival was estimated from mark-recapture to be between 3·5 and 10%. The question of B-type growth (accelerated growth immediately prior to or during smolt migration) was also addressed, with a strong negative correlation between B-type growth and size at end of winter suggesting that this represents a freshwater compensatory growth response. The data obtained indicate the potential importance of small catchments for supporting anadromous Salmo trutta populations and suggest that small runs of spawners (<100 individuals) are adequate to maintain stocks in such situations. Furthermore, they support the key role of freshwater productivity in determining life-history characteristics over small spatial scales, with Orkney providing a useful natural laboratory for future research into metapopulation genetic structuring and environmental factors at a tractable scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-606
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume92
Issue number3
Early online date7 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Fingerprint

smolt
smolts
Salmo trutta
life history
catchment
productivity
day length
compensatory growth
metapopulation
growth response
nutrient availability
gardens
garden
environmental factor
photoperiod
egg
environmental factors
winter
water

Keywords

  • B-type growth
  • Cohort analysis
  • Orkney
  • Salmo trutta
  • Sea trout
  • Smolt age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

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title = "Comparing anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta in small, neighbouring catchments across contrasting landscapes: What is the role of environment in determining life-history characteristics?",
abstract = "Study of anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta in Orkney, U.K., burns (small streams) with a common-garden sea in Scapa Flow supports the key role of nutrient availability in fresh water, independent of day length, as a determinant of smolt age, with a systematic increase in mean smolt age from 1 to 3 years related inversely to productivity. Whole catchment (8 km2) population budgets indicated annual smolt production of around 650 individuals from approximately 100 spawners. Egg-to-smolt survival was 0·65{\%}, while marine survival was estimated from mark-recapture to be between 3·5 and 10{\%}. The question of B-type growth (accelerated growth immediately prior to or during smolt migration) was also addressed, with a strong negative correlation between B-type growth and size at end of winter suggesting that this represents a freshwater compensatory growth response. The data obtained indicate the potential importance of small catchments for supporting anadromous Salmo trutta populations and suggest that small runs of spawners (<100 individuals) are adequate to maintain stocks in such situations. Furthermore, they support the key role of freshwater productivity in determining life-history characteristics over small spatial scales, with Orkney providing a useful natural laboratory for future research into metapopulation genetic structuring and environmental factors at a tractable scale.",
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AB - Study of anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta in Orkney, U.K., burns (small streams) with a common-garden sea in Scapa Flow supports the key role of nutrient availability in fresh water, independent of day length, as a determinant of smolt age, with a systematic increase in mean smolt age from 1 to 3 years related inversely to productivity. Whole catchment (8 km2) population budgets indicated annual smolt production of around 650 individuals from approximately 100 spawners. Egg-to-smolt survival was 0·65%, while marine survival was estimated from mark-recapture to be between 3·5 and 10%. The question of B-type growth (accelerated growth immediately prior to or during smolt migration) was also addressed, with a strong negative correlation between B-type growth and size at end of winter suggesting that this represents a freshwater compensatory growth response. The data obtained indicate the potential importance of small catchments for supporting anadromous Salmo trutta populations and suggest that small runs of spawners (<100 individuals) are adequate to maintain stocks in such situations. Furthermore, they support the key role of freshwater productivity in determining life-history characteristics over small spatial scales, with Orkney providing a useful natural laboratory for future research into metapopulation genetic structuring and environmental factors at a tractable scale.

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