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Bioenergetic response by steelhead to variation in diet, thermal habitat, and climate in the north Pacific Ocean

January 1, 2013

Energetic responses of steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss to climate-driven changes in marine conditions are expected to affect the species’ ocean distribution, feeding, growth, and survival. With a unique 18-year data series (1991–2008) for steelhead sampled in the open ocean, we simulated interannual variation in prey consumption and growth efficiency of steelhead using a bioenergetics model to evaluate the temperature-dependent growth response of steelhead to past climate events and to estimate growth potential of steelhead under future climate scenarios. Our results showed that annual ocean growth of steelhead is highly variable depending on prey quality, consumption rates, total consumption, and thermal experience. At optimal growing temperatures, steelhead can compensate for a low-energy diet by increasing consumption rates and consuming more prey, if available. Our findings suggest that steelhead have a narrow temperature window in which to achieve optimal growth, which is strongly influenced by climate-driven changes in ocean temperature.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2012
Title Bioenergetic response by steelhead to variation in diet, thermal habitat, and climate in the north Pacific Ocean
DOI 10.1080/00028487.2012.675914
Authors Margaret E. Atcheson, Katherine W. Myers, David A. Beauchamp, Nathan J. Mantua
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Series Number
Index ID 70044659
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit