Bioenergetic modelling of the marine phase of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)

I. Philip Smith* (Corresponding Author), Douglas J. Booker, Neil C. Wells

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A bioenergetic model of marine phase, wild Atlantic salmon was constructed to investigate the potential effects on post-smolt growth of predicted changes in oceanic conditions. Short-term estimates of growth in weight were similar to measurements in captivity and simulated growth varied with water temperature and swimming speed as expected. Longer-term estimates of growth in length were less than that achieved by wild salmon, particularly with constant swimming assumed. The model was sensitive to parameters relating to maximum daily food consumption, respiration and the relationships between body energy content, length and weight. Some of the sensitive parameters were based on substantive information on Atlantic salmon and their realistic ranges are likely to be much narrower than those tested. However, other parameter values were based on scant data, farmed Atlantic salmon or other salmonid species, and are therefore less certain and indicate where future empirical research should be focussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-258
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Issue number4-5
Early online dateMar 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

This study was funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (contract no. SF0237). P. Ward helped to gather information on salmon prey and A. Moore (Cefas) provided helpful advice. The following are thanked for making unpublished data available: G.W. Smith (Fisheries Research Services), I. Davidson and R. Cove (Environment Agency), I. Russell (Cefas), A. Ibbotson (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), N. Jonsson (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research), W. Roy (University of Stirling).


  • Atlantic salmon
  • post-smolt
  • marine phase
  • growth
  • temperature
  • climate change
  • marine ecology
  • mathematical models


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