The effect of habitat heterogeneity on the population density of juvenile Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L.

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In each of eight sites in 2 years in Catamaran Brook and the Little Southwest Miramichi River, in New Brunswick, Canada, 36 boulders (median diameter = 0·20 m) were added to a 2 × 3 m quadrat in one treatment, all boulders were removed in another treatment, and one quadrat was left as a control. As predicted, adding boulders increased the density of salmonid fishes, primarily juvenile Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, by 2·8-fold, but had no significant effect on non-territorial fishes, primarily cyprinids and catostomids. Moreover, the effect of adding boulders was greatest for age 0+ year Atlantic salmon, intermediate for age 1+ year Atlantic salmon and had no effect on age 2+ year Atlantic salmon. The results suggest that adding boulders is an effective short-term technique for increasing the density of stream-dwelling salmonids.

Keywords: Kalleberg; boulders; habitat quality; territoriality; visual isolation

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St West, Montréal, Québec, H4B 1R6, Canada 2: Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University, 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montréal, Québec, H3G 1M8, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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