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Variable thermal experience and diel thermal patterns of homing sockeye salmon in coastal marine waters


Drenner, SM and Hinch, SG and Martins, EG and Robichaud, D and Clark, TD and Thompson, LA and Patterson, DA and Cooke, SJ and Thomson, RE, Variable thermal experience and diel thermal patterns of homing sockeye salmon in coastal marine waters, Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 496 pp. 109-124. ISSN 0171-8630 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.3354/meps10551


Temperature is recognized as a key factor influencing physiology, behaviour and survival of anadromous salmonids, yet little is known about their thermal experience, nor factors affecting it, during marine homeward migrations. In 2006 and 2010, approximately 1000 Fraser River sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka were captured and tagged in coastal marine waters, ~215 km from the river mouth, during their spawning migration. Individual salmon were blood sampled, gastrically implanted with temperature loggers fixed to radio or acoustic tags, and released. We recovered 50 loggers from freshwater locales containing 14690 hourly temperature readings. Mixed-effects models were used to characterize marine thermal experience, and examine the association of thermal experience with initial physiological status as well as oceanographic and meteorological conditions. Sockeye salmon thermal experience was highly variable (8.4C to 20.5C), and we detected opposite diel patterns between study years that could be associated with moon phase, behavioural thermoregulation, olfactory/celestial navigation or predator avoidance. We were unable to find any relationships between thermal experience and environmental conditions or fish physiological state. Nonetheless, we found that the greatest variability in thermal experience was attributed to within-individual variation, suggesting that environmental and physiological variables need to be examined at different temporal and spatial scales, and/or additional environmental and physiological variables need to be assessed. Overall, the factors associated with the thermal experience of homing sockeye salmon in coastal marine environments are more complex than previously thought, and multiple year studies are needed before generalizing behavioural patterns observed from single year studies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:temperature, sockeye salmon, migration, behaviour, physiology, oceanography, thermal logger, telemetry
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal behaviour
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Coastal or estuarine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Clark, TD (Dr Timothy Clark)
ID Code:103345
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-10-06
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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