Does climate during embryonic development influence parr growth and age of seaward migration in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)?

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Climatic conditions experienced by Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in their early development appear to affect parr size at the end of the first growth season and age at emigration from the nursery river. North Atlantic Oscillation indices (NAOIs) correlated positively with water temperature (degree-days) and discharge in the River Imsa during winter (January–April) 1976–2002, indicating a significant oceanic influence on the winter conditions in the river. Specific growth rate of Atlantic salmon parr during the first year of life and the proportion of one-year-old smolts correlated positively with water temperature, flow, and NAOI during February–April during the winter of egg incubation, but only NAOI was significant when cross-correlating the two series using a time difference of 1 year. Water temperature correlated significantly with the proportion of salmon cohorts smolting and migrating to sea at age-1. Such long-term effects of climate during early development may be more important than generally recognized.

Les conditions climatiques subies par les saumons atlantiques (Salmo salar) au début de leur développement semblent affecter la taille des tacons à la fin de la première saison de croissance et l'âge à l'émigration de la rivière d'élevage. Il y a une corrélation positive entre les indices de l'oscillation nord-atlantique (NAOI), d'une part, et la température de l'eau (degrés-jours) et le débit de l'Imsa en hiver (janvier–avril), d'autre part, en 1976–2002, ce qui indique une importante influence océanique sur les conditions de la rivière en hiver. Il y a aussi une corrélation positive entre le taux de croissance spécifique des tacons durant leur première année de vie et la proportion des saumoneaux de 1 an, d'une part, et la température de l'eau, le débit, les NAOI en février–avril de l'année de l'incubation des oeufs, d'autre part; si l'on fait une corrélation croisée entre les deux séries, avec un décalage temporel de 1 année, seule la corrélation avec les NAOI reste significative. Il y a finalement une corrélation significative entre la température de l'eau et les proportions des cohortes de saumons qui se transforment en saumoneaux et qui migrent vers la mer à l'âge de 1 an. Ces effets à long terme du climat subi durant le début du développement sont peut-être plus importants qu'on le reconnaît généralement. [Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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