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Escape Behaviour and Use of Cover by Young-of-the-Year Brook Trout, Salvelinus fontinalis

Publication: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
August 1987


The distance between young-of-the-year (YOY) brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and an approaching observer when the trout first fled (reactive distance) was significantly shorter in areas of high cover than in areas of low cover. Reactive distance was negatively correlated with foraging rate in one stream but not in another. These results provide some support for a recent economic model of escape behaviour. Three measures of willingness to take risks while foraging, reactive distance, latency to forage after a disturbance, and use of foraging sites with overhead cover, increased with increasing body size of YOY brook trout. We suggest that stream-resident salmonids become more wary with increasing size because the relative benefits of growing quickly, and hence taking risks while foraging, decrease with increasing body size.


La distance à laquelle l'omble de fontaine (Salvelinus fontinalis) de moins d'un an s'est enfui à l'approche d'un observateur (distance de réaction) était nettement plus courte aux endroits à couverture élevée qu'aux endroits à faible couverture. La distance de réaction était négativement corrélée au taux de recherche de nourriture dans un cours d'eau mais ce n'était pas le cas dans un autre bassin. Ces résultats viennent en partie étayer un récent modèle du comportement de fuite. Trois valeurs du consentement à prendre des risques pendant Sa recherche de nourriture, soit la distance de réaction, le temps de latence de recherche de nourriture après un dérangement et l'utilisation de sites de recherche de nourriture à couverture élevée, ont augmenté en fonction d'un accroissement de la taille corporelle des ombles de fontaine de moins d'un an. Les auteurs formulent la conclusion qu'une plus grande méfiance accompagne l'accroissement de la taille des salmonidés vivant dans des cours d'eau car les avantages relatifs d'une croissance rapide, et donc de la prise de risques pendant la recherche de nourriture, diminuent avec une augmentation de la taille corporelle.

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cover image Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume 44Number 8August 1987
Pages: 1390 - 1396


Version of record online: 11 April 2011


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