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Performance of temperature and dissolved oxygen criteria to predict habitat use by lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush)

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We compared theoretical habitat volumes, determined from traditional combinations of temperature and dissolved oxygen concentration (DO) boundaries, with in situ habitat use by acoustically tagged lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). The widely used criteria of 8–12°C underestimated lake trout habitat use by 68%–80%. Instead, combined temperature (<12 or 15°C) and DO (>4 or 6mg·L–1) criteria most closely matched lake trout habitat use, had a similar seasonal trend as the tagged fish, suggested modest reductions (5% of total lake volume) in habitat during a warmer year, and performed best when the constraints of temperature and DO were most limiting. All data were collected in a small boreal shield lake (27ha, zmax = 21m) at the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario, Canada, during two contrasting periods of thermal stratification (2003: warmer and longer; 2004: cooler and shorter), providing an assessment of observed and theoretical habitat volumes over current environmental extremes.

Nous comparons les volumes théoriques de l’habitat déterminés à l’aide des combinaisons traditionnelles des limites de température et de concentrations d’oxygène dissous (DO) à l’utilisation de l’habitat sur place par des touladis (Salvelinus namaycush) porteurs d’étiquettes acoustiques. Le critère largement utilisé de 8–12°C sous-estime l’utilisation de l’habitat du touladi de 68%–80%. En contraste, les critères combinés de température (<12 ou 15°C) et de DO (>4 ou 6mg·L–1) s’ajustent le mieux à l’utilisation de l’habitat par les touladis, montrent les mêmes tendances saisonnières que les poissons marqués, indiquent des réductions modestes (5% du volume total du lac) de l’habitat durant les années plus chaudes et fonctionnent le mieux lorsque les contraintes de température et de DO sont les plus limitantes. Toutes les données proviennent d’un petit lac boréal du Bouclier canadien (27ha, zmax = 21m) de la Région des lacs expérimentaux dans le nord-ouest de l’Ontario, Canada, durant deux périodes très différentes de stratification thermique (2003: plus chaude et plus longue; 2004: plus fraîche et plus courte), ce qui fournit une évaluation des volumes des habitats théoriques et observés dans les conditions environnementales extrêmes du moment.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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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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