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Title: Maternal effects and phenotypic mismatch in hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon
Author: Stringwell, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 4191
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2015
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Phenotypic variation was previously thought to be the result of complex interactions between an individual's genotype and the environment in which it exists. It is, however, now evident that an individual's phenotype may also be shaped by the environmental variation experienced by the mother, i.e. maternal effects. Environmental maternal effects have the potential to generate rapid phenotypic change in a population and so may be particularly important for evolution at ecological time-scales. The general aim of this thesis was to examine how maternal effects may influence offspring fitness and life history traits in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.1758). For this species, the early juvenile period is the most critical due to their complex life cycle. Offspring rely on maternal provisioning during the early stages of development for growth and survival. Several studies on Atlantic salmon have emphasised the benefits of developing from larger eggs, yet it is unclear how the effects of rearing environment influence early life development. The thesis therefore investigated the effects of variation in maternal provisioning and female rearing environment on the development and physiology of embryos, the behaviour of newly emerged fry and the survival of fry released into the wild. Also assessed were the phenotypic changes among juvenile salmon released into the wild compared to those retained in the hatchery. For this maternal provisioning was manipulated by varying the length of time mothers from the same genetic background were maintained in captivity (2 months, 14 months and 26 months). The results of this thesis demonstrate that both maternal provisioning and female rearing environment alter the development and behaviour of salmon fry, opercular beat rate (a proxy for metabolic rate) and yolk sac absorption, and ultimately survival in the wild. Hatchery-reared fry were found to be maladapted to the natural environment for a number of phenotypic traits which are known to impact survival and the longer fry are retained in the hatchery prior to release the more phenotypically mismatched to the natural environment they become. However, increased egg size brought about my retaining females in captivity improved survival.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Atlantic salmon ; Salmon stock management ; Atlantic salmon fisheries