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Pre-winter lipid stores in young-of-year Atlantic salmon along a north–south gradient

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The pre-winter lipid stores of young-of-the-year (YOY, age 0 year) Atlantic salmon Salmo salar were analysed along a north–south gradient from c. 71 to 58° N, with winter conditions ranging from >200 days of ice cover to no ice. The rivers sampled in Northern Norway represent some of the most northerly S. salar rivers. There was an increase in lipid content with increasing latitude, and mean lipid content (size adjusted to common mass) for YOY in northern rivers were almost three times higher: 0·035 g compared to 0·013 g in southern rivers. The relationship was not sensitive to variation in sampling time or variation in YOY body size. The lipid stores, however, varied markedly between rivers and also between neighbouring rivers, indicating different strategies or opportunities for pre-winter lipid storage both at latitudinal and local scales.

Keywords: bioenergetics; latitude gradient; lipid variation; survival strategy

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), NO-7485 Trondheim, Norway 2: Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway 3: Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, FIN-99980 Utsjoki, Finland 4: Museum of Natural History and Archeology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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