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How does coarse gravel augmentation affect early-stage Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha embryonic survivorship?

  • Author(s): Utz, RM
  • Mesick, CF
  • Cardinale, BJ
  • Dunne, T
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License

Early-stage Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha embryos were incubated in artificial redds that mimicked hyporheic conditions in gravel-augmented habitat to assess survivorship. Two complementary experiments were conducted where units varied along gradients of (1) increasing interstitial flow velocity (0·05-2·50cms-1) in a uniformly coarse (particles ≥22mm) sediment mixture and (2) increasing sediment porosity with interstitial flow velocity held constant. Embryonic survivorship increased moderately along a gradient of interstitial flow velocity, while survivorship among units with varying sediment porosities was consistent. No evidence for flow-induced agitation and mortality was observed. Results suggest that high interstitial flow velocities may confer a moderate advantage for incubating salmonid embryos when conditions that typically reduce embryonic mortality (i.e. low concentrations of fine particles) are ideal. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

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