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Thermal dependence of embryonic growth and development in brown trout

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Fertilized eggs from a brown trout Salmo trutta population in northern Spain were incubated in the laboratory at 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18° C. Developmental stage and embryo size were monitored by taking samples at regular intervals. Survival was maximal at 8 and 10° C and decreased at higher and lower temperatures. Despite starting development, no embryo hatched at 16 and 18° C, which suggests an upper thermal limit for development between 14 and 16° C. Time required to reach a given ontogenetic stage decreased with increasing temperature. Embryos incubated at lower temperatures were larger at 50% hatching, and these differences persisted throughout the subsequent embryonic period until the start of exogenous feeding. A comparison with previously published data indicates low interpopulation variability in thermal sensitivity of embryonic development, even in consideration of the great latitudinal range of the studies.
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Keywords: developmental rate; endogenous feeding period; hatching; mortality; temperature; weighted degree-days

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Departamento de Biología de Organismos y Sistemas, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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