We took a hierarchical approach to understanding Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) life history patterns by first comparing salmonids to other teleosts, next comparing Atlantic salmon to other salmonids, and finally, mapping correlations among individual life history traits within Atlantic salmon. The combination of anadromy, large eggs, nest construction and egg burial by females, and large size at maturity differentiates salmonids from most other teleosts. Within the family Salmonidae, there is considerable variation in all traits but Atlantic salmon are generally in the middle of the range. Within Atlantic salmon, we were able to map correlations among individual life history traits, but we found that we still lacked an understanding comprehensive and quantitative enough to allow us to predict how the entire life history should respond to environmental changes. Thus, we proposed several general courses of action: (i) use models to synthesize complex patterns and relationships, (ii) collect long time series of data in individual systems, and (iii) design experiments to assess phenotypic plasticity and how environmental influences differ from genetic effects and constraints.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|