Thermal histories, stress, and metabolic rates of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in Lake Ontario: evidence from intra-otolith stable isotope analyses

Wurster, C.M., Patterson, W.P., Stewart, D.J., Bowlby, J.N., and Stewart, T.J. (2005) Thermal histories, stress, and metabolic rates of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in Lake Ontario: evidence from intra-otolith stable isotope analyses. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 62 (3). pp. 700-713.

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Abstract

We describe thermal histories for Lake Ontario chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) as determined from otolith δ^sup 18^O thermometry using computer-controlled micromilling techniques to recover otolith aragonite at subseasonal resolution. We find that during the summer months chinook salmon inhabited epilimnetic waters with temperatures of ~19-20 °C as far back as the late 1980s. Chinook would approach but rarely exceed their reported upper incipient lethal limit of approximately 22°C, which suggests that these fish were seeking water with temperatures as high as was tolerable while otolith growth occurred. These results contrast with expected midsummer temperatures for this cold-water salmonine. Bioenergetic simulations indicate significant stress imposed upon chinook salmon. We estimate consumption to be up to 20% more and gross conversion efficiency 18% less annually relative to nominal simulations where chinook salmon are modeled nearer their preferred temperature, reinforcing previous inferences that the chinook salmon population may be near the limits of sustainability. We also find a strong negative correlation between δ^sup 18^O and δ^sup 13^C values. Therefore, seasonal and ontogenetic variation in δ^sup 13^C values of chinook salmon otoliths appear to be related to metabolic rate during pelagic residence and may provide an indirect method for evaluating field activity and other aspects of fish life history.

Item ID: 15668
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1205-7533
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2011 00:05
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040203 Isotope Geochemistry @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 31
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