Mechanisms underlying the increase in young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) density with habitat complexity

Venter, Oscar, Grant, James W. A., Noel, Michelle V. and Kim, Jae-woo (2008) Mechanisms underlying the increase in young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) density with habitat complexity. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 65 9: 1956-1964. doi:10.1139/F08-106


Author Venter, Oscar
Grant, James W. A.
Noel, Michelle V.
Kim, Jae-woo
Title Mechanisms underlying the increase in young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) density with habitat complexity
Formatted title
Mechanisms underlying the increase in young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) density with habitat complexity
Journal name Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0706-652X
1205-7533
Publication date 2008-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1139/F08-106
Volume 65
Issue 9
Start page 1956
End page 1964
Total pages 9
Place of publication Ottawa, ON, Canada
Publisher NRC Research Press
Formatted abstract
We tested three hypotheses used to explain the increase in young-of-the-year (YOY) Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) density with habitat complexity: the territory-size, predator-refuge, and foraging-benefits hypotheses. We manipulated habitat complexity in three different treatments (boulder-removed, control, and boulder-added) at eight sites in Catamaran Brook and the Little Southwest Miramichi River, New Brunswick. The density of juvenile salmon was two times higher in the boulder-added treatment than in the other treatments. Our data were consistent with the territory-size hypothesis; visual isolation was highest and territory size was smallest in the boulder-added treatment, and salmon selected microhabitats to maximize their field of view. Our results showed partial support for the predator-refuge hypothesis; salmon in the boulder-added sites were closer to cover and showed a reduced reaction distance to a novel stimulus, but did not preferentially select microhabitats closer to cover. We found no direct support for the foraging-benefits hypothesis; however, there is indirect evidence that boulders may improve the growth potential of instream habitat. Our results suggest that YOY Atlantic salmon may be attracted to complex environments for the increased cover and that the decreased visibility of these sites causes a reduction in territory size, allowing a higher density of fish.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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