Social status and growth rates as determinants of site attachment in juvenile Atlantic salmon

F. A. Huntingford, Victoria Ann Braithwaite-Read, J. D. Armstrong, D. Aird, K. E. Thorpe, P. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This paper describes an experimental study of the effects of food supply, growth rates and social interactions on homing by juvenile Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in response to displacement. Groups of five fish were housed in a section of an artificial stream and given either rations allowing maximum growth (the rich condition) or 0-1 of this amount (the poor condition); daily specific growth rates were significantly higher in the rich condition. After a 6-day settlement period, the fish were captured, displaced downstream and their movements recorded over the next 3 h. Prior to displacement, the fish showed a high degree of site fidelity and high levels of aggression. Dominant fish and those with stronger site attachment grew faster prior to displacement, these effects being independent. Following displacement, 24% of all fish returned to their previously favoured site and stayed there, 23% returned home initially, but subsequently moved on, 5% settled in a new site and 49% failed to move. The distribution of responses was identical for the rich and poor conditions, but fish that homed were dominant and had grown faster during the pre-displacement period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-321
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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