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Growth rate differences between resident native brook trout and non-native brown trout

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Between species and across season variation in growth was examined by tagging and recapturing individual brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis and brown trout Salmo trutta across seasons in a small stream (West Brook, Massachusetts, U.S.A.). Detailed information on body size and growth are presented to (1) test whether the two species differed in growth within seasons and (2) characterize the seasonal growth patterns for two age classes of each species. Growth differed between species in nearly half of the season- and age-specific comparisons. When growth differed, non-native brown trout grew faster than native brook trout in all but one comparison. Moreover, species differences were most pronounced when overall growth was high during the spring and early summer. These growth differences resulted in size asymmetries that were sustained over the duration of the study. A literature survey also indicated that non-native salmonids typically grow faster than native salmonids when the two occur in sympatry. Taken together, these results suggest that differences in growth are not uncommon for coexisting native and non-native salmonids.
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Keywords: coexist; growth; interspecific; salmonid; seasonal growth; sympatric

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Redpath Museum and Department of Biology, McGill University, 859 Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, Québec H3A 2K6, Canada 2: S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, US Geological Survey-Leetown Science Center, P. O. Box 796, One Migratory Way, Turners Falls, MA 01376, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2007-11-01

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