Influence of Environmental Variability on the Growth of Age-0 and Adult Arctic Grayling

TitleInfluence of Environmental Variability on the Growth of Age-0 and Adult Arctic Grayling
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsDeegan, Linda A., Golden Heidi, Harvey Chris, and Peterson Bruce J.
JournalTransactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume128
Pagination1163 - 1175
Date Published11/1999
KeywordsATLANTIC SALMON, BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES, BROWN TROUT, DOWNSTREAM DISPLACEMENT, HABITAT USE, JUVENILE COHO SALMON, RIVER FERTILIZATION, THYMALLUS-ARCTICUS, TUNDRA STREAM, WATER VELOCITIES
Abstract

We examined the influence of river discharge and temperature on growth of adult and age-0 Arctic grayling Thymallus arcticus in the Kuparuk River (1985–1996) and Oksrukuyik Creek (1990–1996) during the Arctic growing season (late June to mid-August). Grayling growth was compared against six physical variables (river, nutrient level, mean summer discharge, mean summer temperature, consecutive days with extreme low flow, and total days with extreme high flow) using stepwise regression analysis. Fifty-six percent of the variance in adult grayling growth rate in both rivers was associated with nutrient level and mean summer discharge. Sixty percent of the variance in age-0 grayling weight at 40 d was associated with nutrient level, mean summer discharge, mean summer temperature, and river. The correlation with discharge was positive for adult grayling growth but negative for age-0 grayling weight. This study suggests that river discharge and water temperature may influence long-term survival and population dynamics of grayling in Arctic tundra streams.