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Autumn food restriction reduces smoltification rate, but not over-winter survival, in juvenile brown trout Salmo trutta
Univ Gothenburg, Dept Biol & Environm Sci, Box 463, SE-40530 Gothenburg, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1091-2225
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3157-7289
Univ Gothenburg, Dept Biol & Environm Sci, Box 463, SE-40530 Gothenburg, Sweden..
2017 (English)In: Ecology of Freshwater Fish, ISSN 0906-6691, E-ISSN 1600-0633, Vol. 26, no 2, 205-216 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The winter is often considered as a survival bottleneck for stream-living fish. Juvenile salmonids generally become less active during this period, and while food intake continues to some extent, growth rates are typically low. Here we present the results of an over-winter field experiment where energy levels were manipulated in late autumn. Three groups of juvenile (age 1+) brown trout, from an anadromous population, were monitored with respect to over-winter growth rate and survival (as indicated by recapture rates). Two groups were fed either high (HR), or low (LR) food rations in the laboratory for a month (October); the third group remained in the stream (STR). Over-winter growth rates were relatively low in all groups, and no growth compensation could be detected. Compared to HR and LR, STR fish had higher recapture rates after winter, indicating that laboratory housing may have affected the subsequent stream survival negatively. Comparing the two laboratory-housed groups, the LR group reached similar condition as the HR group in early spring, without indications of differences in survival. However, the initiation rate of body silvering (indicating initiation of smoltification) was lower in the LR group. Thus, it appears that food restriction during late autumn affect the onset of smoltification in juvenile brown trout. The results support previous laboratory studies indicating that salmonids modify their over-winter foraging behaviour to avoid too low energy levels at the end of winter. This modification appears to delay smoltification, but may not necessarily be costly in terms of over-winter mortality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 26, no 2, 205-216 p.
Keyword [en]
survival, growth rate, winter ecology, salmonidae, smoltification
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-321338DOI: 10.1111/eff.12268ISI: 000395645400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-321338DiVA: diva2:1103885
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2017-05-31 Created: 2017-05-31 Last updated: 2017-05-31Bibliographically approved

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Naslund, JoacimSundström, L. Fredrik
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