Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Monster Seminar JAM

Event Information

Monster Seminar JAM - Migration syndromes and success in migratory fishes

Dr. Christopher Caudill,  Research Assistant Professor, Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences, University of Idaho

More Information:
Migration is a spectacular example of biocomplexity and differs widely among populations. Migratory systems, a conceptual framework for understanding the multi-scale and hierarchal factors affecting migratory species. An important component of each migratory system is the migration syndromethe set of phenotypic and behavioral traits that are expressed by individual organisms during migration events. Here, I present a conceptual framework of migration syndromes in diadromous fishes and use three species from the Columbia River to illustrate how differences in migration syndromes may dramatically affect interpretations of success during upstream adult migrations. The study of fish migration has been strongly influenced by salmonid studies, and a key feature of anadromous salmonid migration is strong natal homing. Their high site fidelity is associated with local adaptation and genetic structuring at fine scales (as small as 100s of m). American shad appear to home at the scale of river basin, suggesting a lower degree of site fidelity and population structure at moderate scales (10-100s of km). In contrast, current evidence suggests little or no site fidelity to natal drainage during upstream migration by Pacific lamprey. Lamprey population genetic structure is relatively weak and only evident at scales of 103 km. These among-species differences in site fidelity result from differences in breeding site selection behaviors and these differences presumably also influence behavioral decisions during passage of local-scale obstacles (waterfalls and fishways). For example, a failed passage attempt in a taxon with strong homing accurately represents an unsuccessful passage event, whereas the same outcome in a taxon with low natal site fidelity may actually reflect adaptive behavior in a species with a flexible breeding site selection strategy. Consequently, evaluations of migration success and development of passage metrics and standards should explicitly consider the underlying migration syndrome of the target species.

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2725 Montlake Blvd. E.
Seattle,  WA  98112

Date and Time:
Thursday, May 16, 2013, 10:30 am - 1:00 pm

Contact Person(s):
Diane Tierney
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