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Modelling the trajectories of migrating Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

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This paper describes a model for simulating the trajectories of migrating Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the ocean. Surface current and temperature representations were used as boundary conditions for simulation of migration trajectories. Representations of surface currents were derived from a general circulation model forced by realistic winds and then tested through comparisons with observed trajectories of drifting buoys. Observed climatology data were used to represent sea surface temperature patterns. The model was used to simulate the trajectories of 15 individual salmon that were tagged in their home rivers and subsequently recaptured at sea. In contrast to a random swimming direction model, trajectories simulated using both rheotaxis and thermotaxis as direction-finding mechanisms passed close to the recapture locations of the salmon. The timings and positions of the trajectories simulated using rheotaxis corresponded more closely with the observed data than those simulated using thermotaxis. This work indicates that either rheotaxis or thermotaxis, or a combination of the two, are possible direction-finding mechanisms for migrating Atlantic salmon.

Notre travail décrit un modèle pour simuler les trajectoires de migration de saumons atlantiques (Salmo salar) dans l’océan. Des représentations de courants de surface et de températures servent de conditions limites dans la simulation des trajectoires de migration. Nous obtenons les représentations des courants de surface à partir d’un modèle de circulation générale forcé avec des vents réalistes et ensuite vérifié par des comparaisons avec les trajectoires observées de bouées en dérive. Des observations climatologiques ont permis de décrire les patrons de température de la surface de la mer. Le modèle a servi à simuler les trajectoires de 15 saumons individuels marqués dans leur rivière d’origine et recapturés plus tard en mer. Contrairement au modèle de direction aléatoire de la nage, les trajectoires simulées, qui utilisent à la fois la rhéotactisme et la thermotactisme comme mécanismes de choix de direction, passent près des points de recapture des saumons. Le calendrier et les positionnements des trajectoires simulées qui utilisent la rhéotactisme correspondent mieux aux données observées que ceux des trajectoires simulées qui utilisent la thermotactisme. Notre travail indique que tant la rhéotactisme que la thermotactisme, ou alors une combinaison des deux, servent de mécanismes possibles de découverte de la direction chez les saumons atlantiques en migration.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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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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