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Seasonal and spatial microhabitat selection and segregation in young atlantic salmon salmo salar l. and brown trout salmo trutta l. in a norwegian river

Seasonal and spatial microhabitat selection and segregation in young atlantic salmon salmo salar l. and brown trout salmo trutta l. in a norwegian river

Journal of Fish Biology 36(5): 707-720

Seasonal microhabitat selection by sympatric young Atlantic salmon and brown trout was studied by diving. Both species, especially Atlantic salmon, showed seasonal variation with respect to surface and mean water velocities and depth. This variation is partly attributed to varying water flows and water temperatures. In winter the fish sought shelter in the substratum. A spatial variation in habitat use along the river due to different habitat availabilities was observed. Both species occupied habitats within the ranges of the microhabitat variables, rather than selecting narrow optima. It is hypothesized that the genetic basis allows a certain range to the behavioural response. Microhabitat segregation between the two species was pronounced, with brown trout inhabiting the more slow-flowing and partly more shallow stream areas. Atlantic salmon tolerated a wider range of water velocities and depths. Habitat suitability curves were produced from both species. It is suggested that habitat suitability curves that are based on observations of fish occupancy of habitat at median or base flow may not be suitable in habitat simulation models, where available habitat is projected at substantially greater water flows.

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Accession: 007772215

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1990.tb04325.x

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