Changement climatique - Recherche française (avec laboratoires CNRS) - 2010-2015


Basin-scale phenology and effects of climate variability on global timing of initial seaward migration of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Publication Year


  • Otero, Jaime
  • L'Abee-Lund, Jan Henning
  • Castro-Santos, Ted
  • Leonardsson, Kjell
  • Storvik, Geir O.
  • Jonsson, Bror
  • Dempson, Brian
  • Russell, Ian C.
  • Jensen, Arne J.
  • Bagliniere, Jean-Luc
  • Dionne, Melanie
  • Armstrong, John D.
  • Romakkaniemi, Atso
  • Letcher, Benjamin H.
  • Kocik, John F.
  • Erkinaro, Jaakko
  • Poole, Russell
  • Rogan, Ger
  • Lundqvist, Hans
  • MacLean, Julian C.
  • Jokikokko, Erkki
  • Arnekleiv, Jo Vegar
  • Kennedy, Richard J.
  • Niemela, Eero
  • Caballero, Pablo
  • Music, Paul A.
  • Antonsson, Thorolfur
  • Gudjonsson, Sigurdur
  • Veselov, Alexey E.
  • Lamberg, Anders
  • Groom, Steve
  • Taylor, Benjamin H.
  • Taberner, Malcolm
  • Dillane, Mary
  • Arnason, Fridthjofur
  • Horton, Gregg
  • Hvidsten, Nils A.
  • Jonsson, Ingi R.
  • Jonsson, Nina
  • McKelvey, Simon
  • Naesje, Tor F.
  • Skaala, Oystein
  • Smith, Gordon W.
  • Saegrov, Harald
  • Stenseth, Nils C.
  • Vollestad, Leif Asbjorn
GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY Volume: 20 Issue: 1 Pages: 61-75 Published: 2014
1354-1013 eISSN: 1365-2486

Migrations between different habitats are key events in the lives of many organisms. Such movements involve annually recurring travel over long distances usually triggered by seasonal changes in the environment. Often, the migration is associated with travel to or from reproduction areas to regions of growth. Young anadromous Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) emigrate from freshwater nursery areas during spring and early summer to feed and grow in the North Atlantic Ocean. The transition from the freshwater (parr') stage to the migratory stage where they descend streams and enter salt water (smolt') is characterized by morphological, physiological and behavioural changes where the timing of this parr-smolt transition is cued by photoperiod and water temperature. Environmental conditions in the freshwater habitat control the downstream migration and contribute to within- and among-river variation in migratory timing. Moreover, the timing of the freshwater emigration has likely evolved to meet environmental conditions in the ocean as these affect growth and survival of the post-smolts. Using generalized additive mixed-effects modelling, we analysed spatio-temporal variations in the dates of downstream smolt migration in 67 rivers throughout the North Atlantic during the last five decades and found that migrations were earlier in populations in the east than the west. After accounting for this spatial effect, the initiation of the downstream migration among rivers was positively associated with freshwater temperatures, up to about 10 degrees C and levelling off at higher values, and with sea-surface temperatures. Earlier migration occurred when river discharge levels were low but increasing. On average, the initiation of the smolt seaward migration has occurred 2.5days earlier per decade throughout the basin of the North Atlantic. This shift in phenology matches changes in air, river, and ocean temperatures, suggesting that Atlantic salmon emigration is responding to the current global climate changes.

Author Keyword(s)
  • Atlantic salmon
  • freshwater conditions
  • North Atlantic
  • phenology
  • sea surface temperature
  • smolt emigration
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • SEA
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Environment/Ecology
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sciences

[Otero, Jaime; Storvik, Geir O.; Stenseth, Nils C.; Vollestad, Leif Asbjorn] Univ Oslo, Dept Biosci, CEES, N-0316 Oslo, Norway; [L'Abee-Lund, Jan Henning] Norwegian Water & Energy Directorate, N-0301 Oslo, Norway; [Castro-Santos, Ted; Letcher, Benjamin H.; Horton, Gregg] US Geol Survey, Silvio O Conte Anadromous Fish Res Ctr, Biol Resources Div, Turners Falls, MA 01376 USA; [Leonardsson, Kjell; Lundqvist, Hans] Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Wildlife Fish & Environm Studies SLU, SE-90183 Umea, Sweden; [Storvik, Geir O.] Univ Oslo, Dept Math, N-0316 Oslo, Norway; [Jonsson, Bror; Jonsson, Nina] Norwegian Inst Nat Res NINA, N-0349 Oslo, Norway; [Dempson, Brian] Fisheries & Oceans Canada, St John, NF A1C 5X1, Canada; [Russell, Ian C.] Cefas Lowestoft Lab, Lowestoft NR33 0HT, Suffolk, England; [Jensen, Arne J.; Hvidsten, Nils A.; Naesje, Tor F.] Norwegian Inst Nat Res NINA, N-7485 Trondheim, Norway; [Bagliniere, Jean-Luc] INRA, Agrocampus Ouest, UMR 0985, ESE, F-35000 Rennes, France; [Dionne, Melanie] Minist Dev Durable Environm Faune & Parcs Quebec, Direct Faune Aquat, Ste Foy, PQ, Canada; [Romakkaniemi, Atso; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Niemela, Eero] Univ Oulu, Finnish Game & Fisheries Res Inst, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland; [Kocik, John F.; Music, Paul A.] Northeast Fisheries Sci Ctr, Maine Field Stn, Natl Marine Fisheries Serv, Orono, ME 04473 USA; [Poole, Russell; Rogan, Ger; Dillane, Mary] Inst Marine, Fisheries Ecosyst Advisory Serv, Newport, Mayo, Ireland; [Jokikokko, Erkki] Finnish Game & Fisheries Res Inst, Bothnian Bay Fisheries Res Stn, FI-94450 Keminmaa, Finland; [Arnekleiv, Jo Vegar] Norwegian Univ Sci & Technol, Sect Nat Hist, Museum Nat Hist & Archaeol, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway; [Kennedy, Richard J.] Agrifood & Biosci Inst, Belfast BT9 5PX, Antrim, North Ireland; [Caballero, Pablo] Conselleria Medio Rural Xunta Galicia, Secc Biodiversidade, Serv Conservac Nat Pontevedra, Pontevedra 36071, Spain; [Antonsson, Thorolfur; Gudjonsson, Sigurdur; Arnason, Fridthjofur; Jonsson, Ingi R.] Inst Freshwater Fisheries, IS-112 Reykjavik, Iceland; [Veselov, Alexey E.] Russian Acad Sci, Inst Biol, Karelian Res Ctr, Petrozavodsk 185910, Russia; [Lamberg, Anders] Vilt & Fiskeinfo AS, N-7054 Ranheim, Norway; [Groom, Steve; Taylor, Benjamin H.; Taberner, Malcolm] Plymouth Marine Lab, Remote Sensing Grp, Plymouth PL1 3DH, Devon, England; [Skaala, Oystein] Inst Marine Res, N-5817 Bergen, Norway; [Saegrov, Harald] Radgivende Biologer AS, N-5003 Bergen, Norway; [Stenseth, Nils C.] Inst Marine Res, Flodevigen Marine Res Stn, N-4817 His, Norway

Reprint Adress

Otero, J (reprint author), CSIC, Inst Invest Marinas, Eduardo Cabello 6, Vigo 36208, Spain.

  • Canada
  • Finland
  • France
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
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