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Research article2015Peer reviewed

Thermal stress in Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus broodstock: a 28 year case study

Jeuthe, Henrik; Brännäs, Eva; Nilsson, Jan


Temperature and egg viability data from an Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus hatchery covering a period of 28 years were analysed. During the study period, there was a significant increase in the mean water temperature in May, July, August and September of c. 2 degrees C. Independent of year, the egg viability showed a negative correlation with the mean monthly temperatures in July, August and September as well as with the temperature difference between October and November. The negative effect of high summer temperatures was further supported by a comparison of egg viability from replicate brood-stock reared at two sites differing mainly in summer water temperature. The eggs from the colder site were, on average, significantly larger (4.4 mm compared with 4.0 mm) and had higher hatching rates (57% compared with 37%). These results suggest that unfavourable temperature conditions during the summer and autumn can explain much of the excessive egg mortality experienced at the main facility used for the Swedish S. alpinus breeding programme. The main effect was supra-optimal temperatures during the period July to September, but there also appears to have been an effect from the temperature regime before and during spawning (October to November) that was unrelated to the summer temperatures. These findings emphasize the importance of site selection and sustainable management of aquaculture hatcheries in the light of the ongoing climate change. (C) 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles


aquaculture; climate change; egg size; egg viability; hatching rate; reproductive success

Published in

Journal of Fish Biology
2015, Volume: 86, number: 3, pages: 1139-1152