Nutritional correlates of spatiotemporal variations in the marine habitat use of brown trout (Salmo trutta) veteran migrants
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 2018, 75 1744-1754. 10.1139/cjfas-2017-0350
The brown trout (Salmo trutta) is an iteroparous, anadromous salmonid that exhibits a complex continuum of feeding migration tactics, ranging from freshwater residency, to potamodromy, to estuarine migration, as well as short-to-long distance coastal migrations. While anadromous migrants are believed to play an important role in the species’ population dynamics, little is known about the factors driving differences in the extent of individual marine habitat use. In this study, 32 brown trout veteran migrants were acoustically tagged prior to their seaward migration and sampled for indices of their nutritional state. Our findings suggest that: i. body condition factor differed amongst fish adopting different migratory tactics, with outer-fjord migrant being in poorer condition; and ii. within migratory groups, plasma triglyceride concentration was negatively correlated with the duration of marine residency. Results support the idea of condition-dependent migration in veteran migrants, with individual variation in nutritional state influencing the spatio-temporal aspects of marine habitat use. Furthermore, overall marine minimum survival during the summer feeding migration was 86%, the highest reported estimate for this life-stage.