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Temperature preference of juvenile Arctic charr originating from different thermal environments

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Kjetil Aune

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kjetil.aune@nofima.no

Aquatic Ecology 2014; Volume 48. p. 313–320. 2014

Siikavuopio, Sten Ivar; Sæther, Bjørn-Steinar; Johnsen, Helge K.; Evensen, Tor Hatten; Knudsen, Rune

Temperature preference of juvenile (age 1?) Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) originating from four arctic and sub-arctic populations (Svalbard and mainland northern Norway), representing a range of habitats with different temperature conditions, was studied by use of a shuttle-box system which allowed individual fish to control their environmental temperature. Based on the assumption that adaptations to long-lasting differences in thermal environments would affect temperature preference, we expected that Arctic charr from the high arctic Svalbard would prefer a lower temperature than the charr from two well-studied sub-arctic mainland lakes (i.e. one anadromous charr population from Storvatn, Hammerfest and two sympatric resident charr morphs from Fjellfrøsvatn, Målselv). There were, however, no significant differences in temperature preference among the four populations after 24 h exposure to the shuttle-box system, although the charr from the omnivore upper-water sympatric morph of Fjellfrøsvatn used significantly longer time to reach a stable thermal preferendum than the fish of the other populations. The average temperature preference at the end of the trials ranged between 10.9 and 11.6 ºC among the populations. The lack of population differences suggests that temperature preference is not a polymorphic trait under strong selection in Arctic charr.

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