Thermal preference of Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus, and brown trout, Salmo trutta – implications for their niche segregation
Received: 20 November 2003 Accepted: 07 October 2004 DOI:
10.1007/s10641-004-5353-4 Cite this article as: Larsson, S. Environ Biol Fish (2005) 73: 89. doi:10.1007/s10641-004-5353-4 Abstract
This study tested a new experimental apparatus to estimate thermal preferences of fish. The apparatus was designed to minimise the effect of the thermal history of the fish and allow for easy feeding. The set-up consisted of two connected sections of an aquarium, both receiving an excess of food, with slightly different water temperatures. Initially, the fish spent most of its time in one of the sections, but when the temperatures were slowly increased (or decreased), the fish spent increasingly more time in the other. The temperature at which the fish spent equal time in both sections was defined as the preferred temperature. Brown trout,
Salmo trutta, preferred the reported optimal temperature for growth of the species. However, Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus, selected a significantly lower temperature than its optimal temperature for growth and thus contradicted the general view of good correlation between the optimal temperature for growth and preferred temperature of fish. The reason for this may be that charr is optimising its growth efficiency instead of its growth rate. Individuals that utilise a limited resource in an optimal way, by selecting a temperature where the growth efficiency is maximised, will possibly be favoured. Several factors affect the distribution of fish in lakes, but the difference in thermal preference between charr and trout might partly explain the frequently observed niche segregation of these two species in Scandinavian lakes. Keywords temperature selection growth feeding salmonids competition References Barans, C.A., Tubb, R.A. 1973 Temperature selected seasonally by four fishes from Western Lake Erie J. Fish. Res. Board Canada 30 1697 1703 Google Scholar Beitinger, T.L., Magnuson, J.J. 1979 Growth rates and temperature selection of bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 108 378 382 CrossRef Google Scholar Brett, J.R. 1971 Energetic responses of salmon to temperature. A study of some thermal relations in the physiology and freshwater ecology of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) Am. Zool. 11 99 113 Google Scholar Cincotta, D.A., Stauffer, J.R., Jr. 1984 Temperature preference and avoidance studies of six North American freshwater fish species Hydrobiologia 109 173 177 CrossRef Google Scholar Elliott, J.M., Hurley, M.A., Fryer, R.J. 1995 A new, improved growth model for brown trout, Salmo trutta Funct. Ecol. 9 290 298 Google Scholar Elliott, J.M., Hurley, M.A. 1999 A new energetics model for brown trout, Salmotrutta Freshwater Biol. 42 235 246 Google Scholar Elliott, J.M., Hurley, M.A. 2000 Daily energy intake and growth of piscivorous trout, Salmo trutta Freshwater Biol. 44 237 245 Google Scholar Elliott, J.M., Hurley, M.A. 2000 Optimal energy intake and gross efficiency of energy conversion for brown trout, Salmo trutta, feeding on invertebrates or fish Freshwater Biol. 44 605 615 Google Scholar Forseth, T., Jonsson, B. 1994 The growth and food ration of piscivorous brown trout ( Salmo trutta) Funct. Ecol. 8 171 177 Google Scholar Fry, F.E.J. 1947 Effects of the environment on animal activity University of Toronto Studies Biological Series No 55 1 62 Google Scholar Hall, L.W., Jr., Hocutt, C.H., Stauffer, J.R., Jr. 1978 Implication of geographic location on temperature preference of white perch, Morone americana J. Fish. Res. Board Canada 32 1464 1468 Google Scholar
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