Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 8, pp 1633–1646 | Cite as

Temperature, salinity and prey availability shape the marine migration of Arctic char, Salvelinus alpinus, in a macrotidal estuary

  • Aaron D. Spares
  • Michael J. W. Stokesbury
  • Ron K. O’Dor
  • Terry A. Dick
Original Paper

Abstract

The influence of salinity, temperature and prey availability on the marine migration of anadromous fishes was determined by describing the movements, habitat use and feeding behaviours of Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). The objectives were to determine whether char are restricted to the upper water column of the inter-/subtidal zones due to warmer temperatures. Twenty-seven char were tracked with acoustic temperature/pressure (depth) transmitters from June to September, 2008/2009, in inner Frobisher Bay, Canada. Most detections were in surface waters (0–3 m). Inter-/subtidal movements and consecutive repetitive dives (maximum 52.8 m) resulted in extreme body temperature shifts (−0.2–18.1 °C). Approximately half of intertidal and subtidal detections were between 9–13 °C and 1–3 °C, respectively. Stomach contents and deep diving suggested feeding in both inter-/subtidal zones. We suggest that char tolerate cold water at depth to capture prey in the subtidal zone, then seek warmer water to enhance feeding/digestion physiology.

References

  1. Bégout Anras ML, Gyselman EC, Jorgenson JK, Kristofferson AH, Anras L (1999) Habitat preferences and residence time for the freshwater to ocean transition stage in Arctic charr. J Mar Bio Assoc UK 79:153–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brenkman SJ, Corbett SC, Volk EC (2007) Use of otolith chemistry and radiotelemetry to determine age-specific migratory patterns of anadromous Bull trout in the Hoh River, Washington. Trans Amer Fish Soc 136:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bystriansky JS, Frick NT, Richards JG, Schulte PM, Ballantyne JS (2007) Wild Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) upregulate gill Na+, K+-ATPase during freshwater migration. Physiol Biochem Zool 80:270–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dadswell MJ (2006) A review of the status of Atlantic sturgeon in Canada, with comparisons to populations in the United States and Europe. Fish 31:218–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dadswell MJ (2009) Ocean migration of diadromous fishes in a changing global environment preamble. In: Haro A, Smith KL, Rulifson RA, Moffitt CM, Klauda RJ, Dadswell MJ, Cunjak RA, Cooper JE, Beal KL, Avery TS (eds) Challenges for diadromous fishes in a dynamic global environment. American Fisheries Society Symposium 69, Maryland, pp 251–253Google Scholar
  6. Dadswell MJ, Spares AD, Reader JM, Stokesbury MJW (2010) The North Atlantic subpolar gyre and the marine migration of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar: the ‘Merry-Go-Round’ hypothesis. J Fish Biol 77:435–467Google Scholar
  7. Dempson JB (1993) Salinity tolerance of freshwater acclimated, small-sized Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus from Northern Labrador. J Fish Bio 43:451–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dempson JB, Kristofferson AH (1987) Spatial and temporal aspects of the ocean migration of anadromous Arctic char. In: Dadswell MJ, Klauda RJ, Moffitt CM, Saunders RL, Rulifson RA, Cooper JE (eds) Common strategies of anadromous and catadromous fishes. American Fisheries Society Symposium 1, Maryland, pp 340–357Google Scholar
  9. Dempson JB, Shears M, Bloom M (2002) Spatial and temporal variability in the diet of anadromous Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus, in northern Labrador. Environ Biol Fish 64:49–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. DeVries AL, Cheng CHC (2005) Antifreeze proteins and organismal freezing avoidance in polar fishes. In: Farrell AP, Steffensen JF (eds) The physiology of polar fishes. Elsevier, Boston, pp 155–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. DFO (2008) Canadian hydrographical service—nautical chart 7121. Government of Canada, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  12. Dick TA, Gallagher CP, Yang A (2009) Summer habitat use of Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) in a small Arctic lake, monitored by acoustic telemetry. Eco Fresh Fish 18:117–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Døving KB, Westergård H, Johnsen PB (1985) Role of olfaction in the behavioural and neuronal responses of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, to hydrographic stratification. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 42:1658–1667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dyck MG, Romberg S (2007) Observations of a wild polar bear (Ursus maritimus) successfully fishing Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and Fourhorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus quadricornis). Polar Biol 30:1625–1628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gallagher CP, Dick TA (2010) Historical and current population characteristics and subsistence harvest of Arctic char from the Sylvia Grinnell River, Nunavut, Canada. N Am J Fish Manag 30:126–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grainger E (1953) On the age, growth, migration, reproductive potential and feeding habits of the Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) of Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island. J Fish Res Board Can 10:326–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grainger E (1975) A marine ecology study in Frobisher Bay, arctic Canada. In: Cameron T, Billingsley L (eds) Energy flow: its biological dimension. Royal Soc Can, Ottawa, pp 261–266Google Scholar
  18. Grønvik S, Klemetsen A (1987) Marine food and diet overlap of co-occurring Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (L.), Brown trout Salmo trutta L. and Atlantic salmon S. salar L. off Senja, N. Norway. Polar Biol 7:173–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harden Jones FR, Scholes P (1985) Gas secretion and resorption in the swimbladder of cod Gadus morhua. J Comp Physiol 155:319–331Google Scholar
  20. Heupel MR, Semmens JM, Hobday AJ (2006) Automated acoustic tracking of aquatic animals: scales, design and deployment of listening station arrays. Mar Freshw Res 57:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Holland KN, Brill RW, Chang RKC, Sibert JR, Fournier DA (1992) Physiological and behavioural thermoregulation in bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus). Nature 358:410–412. doi:10.1038/358410a0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Holm M, Holst JC, Hansen LP, Jacobsen JA, O′Maoiléidigh N, Moore A (2003) Migration and distribution of Atlantic salmon post-smolts in the North Sea and North East Atlantic. In: Mills D (ed) Salmon at the edge. Blackwell Science Publications, Oxford, pp 7–23Google Scholar
  23. Horne JK, Sawada K, Abe K, Kreisberg RB, Barbee DH, Sadayasu K (2009) Swimbladders under pressure: anatomical and acoustic responses by walleye pollock. ICES J Mar Sci 66:1162–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hunter J (1976) Arctic char and hydroelectric power in the Sylvia Grinnell River. Fish Res Board Can Manuscr Rep Ser 1376:21Google Scholar
  25. Hyslop EJ (1980) Stomach contents analysis—a review of methods and their application. J Fish Biol 17:411–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Isinguzo I, Gallagher CP, Dick TA (2002) Feeding ecology of Arctic char Salvelinus alpinus. University of Manitoba, PosterGoogle Scholar
  27. Jákupsstovu S (1988) Exploitation and migration of salmon in Faroese waters. In: Mills DH, Piggins DJ (eds) Atlantic salmon: planning for the future. Croom Helm, London, pp 458–482Google Scholar
  28. Jensen JL, Rikardsen AH (2008) Do northern riverine anadromous Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus and sea trout Salmo trutta overwinter in estuarine and marine waters? J Fish Biol 73:1810–1818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jepsen N, Koed A, Thorstad EB, Baras E (2002) Surgical implantation of telemetry transmitters in fish: how much have we learned? Hydrobiol 483:239–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Klemetsen A, Amudsen PA, Dempson JB, Jonsson B, Jonsson N, O’Connell MF, Mortensen E (2003) Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L., brown trout Salmo trutta L. and Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (L.): a review of aspects of their life histories. Eco Freshw Fish 12:1–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Larsson S (2005) Thermal preference of Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus, and brown trout, Salmo trutta—implications for their niche segregation. Environ Biol Fish 73:89–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Larsson S, Berglund I (2005) The effect of temperature on the energetic growth efficiency of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) from four Swedish populations. J Therm Biol 30:29–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Larsson S, Forseth T, Berglund I, Jensen AJ, Näslund I, Elliott JM, Jonsson B (2005) Thermal adaptation of Arctic charr: experimental studies of growth in eleven charr populations from Sweden, Norway and Britain. Freshw Biol 50:353–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moore JW (1975) Distribution, movements, and mortality of anadromous Arctic char, Salvelinus alpinus L., in the Cumberland Sound area of Baffin Island. J Fish Biol 7:339–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Moore JW, Moore IA (1974) Food and growth of arctic char, Salvelinus alpinus (L.) in the Cumberland Sound area of Baffin Island. J Fish Biol 6:79–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Morinville GR, Rasmussen JB (2006) Marine feeding patterns of anadromous brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) inhabiting an estuarine river fjord. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 63:2011–2027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mortensen A, Ugedal O, Lund F (2007) Seasonal variation in the temperature preference of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus). J Therm Biol 32:314–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Moyle PB, Cech JJ (1996) Fishes: an introduction of ichthyology, 3rd edn. Prentice Hall, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  39. Peterson RH, Sutterlin AM, Metcalfe JL (1979) Temperature preference of several species of Salmo and Salvelinus and some of their hybrids. J Fish Res Board Can 36:1137–1140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Power M, Power G, Caron F, Doucett RR, Guiguer KRA (2002) Growth and dietary niche in Salvelinus alpinus and Salvelinus fontinalis as revealed by stable isotope analysis. Environ Biol Fish 64:75–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Reddin D, Shearer W (1987) Sea-surface temperature and distribution of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) in the northwest Atlantic. Amer Fish Soc Symp 1:262–275Google Scholar
  42. Richard P (2001) Marine mammals of Nunavut. Qikiqtani School Operations, NunavutGoogle Scholar
  43. Rikardsen AH, Amundsen PA (2005) Pelagic marine feeding of Arctic charr and sea trout. J Fish Bio 66:1163–1166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rikardsen AH, Diserud OH, Elliott JM, Dempson JB, Sturlaugsson J, Jensen AJ (2007) The marine temperature and depth preference of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and sea trout (Salmo trutta), as recorded by data storage tags. Fish Oceano 16:436–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sars GO (1890) An account of the Crustacea of Norway. vol. I. Amphipoda. ALB Cammermeyer, BergenGoogle Scholar
  46. Scott WB, Scott MG (1988) Atlantic fishes of Canada. University of Toronto Press, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  47. Spares AD, Dadswell MJ (2001) Goat Lake, a warm water, estuarine refugia for molluscs on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Proc NS Inst Sci 41:134–148Google Scholar
  48. Sturlaugsson J, Thorisson K (1997) Migration pattern of homing of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) in coastal waters W-Iceland: recorded by data storage tags. ICES CM 9Google Scholar
  49. Systat (2009) Systat statistical software. SYSTAT 14 trial version. http://www.systat.com/. Accessed 12 Nov 2009
  50. Teo SLH, Boustany A, Dewar H, Stokesbury MJW, Weng KC, Beemer S, Seitz AC, Farwell CJ, Prince ED, Block BA (2007) Annual migrations, diving behavior, and thermal biology of Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, on their Gulf of Mexico breeding grounds. Mar Biol 151:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. VEMCO (2009) Acoustic tracking and monitoring systems. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. http://www.vemco.com. Accessed 6 Nov 2009
  52. Viherluoto M (2001) Food selection and feeding behaviour of Baltic Sea mysid shrimps. PhD thesis, University of HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
  53. Westerberg H (1982) Ultrasonic tracking of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)—II. Swimming depth and temperature stratification. Rep Inst Freshw Res Drottningholm 60:102–120Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron D. Spares
    • 1
  • Michael J. W. Stokesbury
    • 2
  • Ron K. O’Dor
    • 1
  • Terry A. Dick
    • 3
  1. 1.Biology Department, Ocean Tracking NetworkDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyAcadia UniversityWolfvilleCanada
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

Personalised recommendations