Seasonal patterns of growth and expenditure in juvenile Atlantic salmon

W. Jones, William Gurney, Douglas Speirs, P.J. Bacon, A.F. Youngson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


1. We report a modelling study of a data-set describing the growth of individual Atlantic salmon (Salmo salarL.) parr in the Girnock Burn (Scotland). A development of the compensatory growth model due to Broekhusien
et al. (1994) was fitted to these data by numerical optimization.
2.The model uses carbon mass as a surrogate for an energy currency. This mass is divided into structure and reserve components, so as to describe decoupled changes in length and wet-weight.
3. Using the same parameters for all fish, our model explained 83% of the variability in length and weight at age. Adding a single additional parameter for each individual enabled the model to explain over 96% of length and weight variability.
4. Weak negative correlation between size at first capture and within-study growth argues against genetic causality of observed growth variability.
5. The energetic basis of our model enables us to infer time-series of net assimilation and basal maintenance rates for the observed individuals. Maximal growth occurs early in the season when high assimilation is accompanied by low temperatures and maintenance rates. In late season, continuing high assimilation is balanced by high maintenance rates consequent on summer temperatures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-924
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2002


  • salmon
  • energetics
  • growth
  • individual
  • model


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