Exploring the underlying mechanisms of migration timing and success in salmonids

Timeline:

January 2017 - ongoing 

Objectives: 

To explore the mechanisms that determine migration timing and success (and life history strategies more generally) in brown trout (Salmo trutta) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) by integrating non-lethal sampling procedures and tracking technologies.

Funding: 

European Development Fund (Interreg) MarGen I & II projects; Smoltrack projects I, II & III; Innovation Fund

Results:

Thus far, we've found that physiological indices of stress and energetics seem to play a role in migration-related decisions, including timing and success. More specifically, we've found that fish with high cortisol (the primary stress hormone in fish) exit rivers earlier, but are less likely to successfully make it to sea.

Outputs:

Five peer-reviewed publications (here, here, herehere & here); presentations at international conferences (2).

Future steps:

We would like to expand the type and number of physiological correlates to explore further the role of nutritional status, stress and tissue damage in determining behaviour. We would also like to expand this approach to other species.

© 2020 Kim Birnie-Gauvin

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