Does diurnal temperature variability affect growth in juvenile Atlantic salmon Salmo salar?

C. Imholt, I. A. Malcolm, P. J. Bacon, C. N. Gibbins, C. Soulsby, M. Miles, R. J. Fryer

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24 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the effects of diurnal temperature variability (> 7 degrees C) on the growth of 1+ year Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. Experimental manipulation of water temperature was used to simulate: (1) constant and (2) naturally varying thermal regimes with similar daily mean values. Data from two replicates of four treatments (two thermal and two feeding regimes) were collected over 6 months corresponding to the main spring to summer growth period. Fish growth was assessed at fortnightly intervals. Small but significant differences in mean fork length (L-F) and mass were observed between temperature treatments, with smaller, lighter fish under the variable temperature regime. The effects of temperature regime on growth were independent of food ration. At termination of the experiment, the median L-F and mass of fish exposed to the variable temperature regime were estimated, respectively, to be 2 center dot 6 and 8 center dot 0% less than those under the constant regime. Given the relatively small differences in growth attributable to variable temperature regime in these experiments, it is suggested that mean daily temperatures are adequate to inform juvenile growth models for field-based studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-448
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • condition factor
  • food ration
  • mass
  • size
  • thermal variability
  • brown trout
  • water temperatures
  • riparian woodland
  • food availability
  • thermal regime
  • heat exchanges
  • upland stream
  • parr
  • river
  • fish


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