Seawater tolerance in first-time migrants of anadromous Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus)
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Anadromous juvenile Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) were caught in the Sila River (66°21′N, 13°10′E, Nordland County, Norway) by use of a fish trap during their migration towards the sea in May/June. The absence of tags (not captured before) and examination of otoliths from sacrificed fish revealed that none of the experimental charr had previously encountered seawater. During 4 days of exposure to seawater, only minor changes in blood plasma osmolality, and blood plasma concentrations of Na+, Cl– and Mg2+ were detected. An increase in Na+-K+-ATPase activity was measured during the exposure period. These results verified that first-time migrants exhibit hypoosmoregulatory capacity similar to that of smoltified Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Accordingly, the Arctic charr first-time migratory behaviour, including late descent and a possible stay within an estuary, cannot be taken as evidence of a poorly developed seawater tolerance.
KeywordsAtlantic Salmon Arctic Charr Plasma Osmolality Salvelinus Alpinus Anadromous Arctic Charr
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