Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Yolanda Morbey

Abstract

Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), following their introduction to the Great Lakes, have successfully colonized many tributaries. Under the hypothesis that colonization success is facilitated by intrinsic factors (i.e., preadaptation), I predicted that patterns of reproductive timing in an introduced population would show similarities with those in their native range. To test this prediction, attributes of reproductive timing were characterized in Chinook salmon from the Sydenham River, Ontario. In their native range, female Chinook salmon exhibit a seasonal decline in reproductive lifespan, a decline in fat stores, low egg retention at death (< 0.5%), and spawning at temperatures below 12.8°C. In contrast, Sydenham River Chinook salmon showed no seasonal decline in reproductive lifespan or fat stores and nineteen of twenty females had egg retention greater or equal to 0.5%. Also, many individuals (30%) spawned when water temperatures exceeded 12.8°C. Thus, individuals do not appear to be pre-adapted in this system.


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