By GunnbjoRn Bremset, Ole Kristian Berg
Animal Behaviour, Volume 58, Issue 5, November 1999, Pages 1047-1059, ISSN 0003-3472, DOI: 10.1006/anbe.1999.1218.

This study, conducted in deep pools in three rivers, is the first to show a clear three-dimensional habitat segregation in size groups (equivalent to age groups) of juvenile Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, and brown trout,S. trutta . Young-of-the-year (YOY) held position near the river bed and the river bank; height above bottom and distance from river bank increased significantly with fish size. Brown trout held position significantly further from the substratum, and were on average closer to the river bank, than salmon. The vertical segregation of young salmonids was most evident among young trout, with YOY being closest to the bottom. This size-dependent segregation is probably a result of different outcomes of the trade-off between the conflicting interests of higher food availability and greater predation risk in the upper part of the water column. We suggest that intercohort predation and competitive interactions were the main reasons why YOY of both species and salmon yearlings held positions close to the river bed. We found no evidence of salmon and trout parr preferring particular water depths, as studies in shallow parts of rivers have suggested, as the correspondence of use and availability of microhabitats at different water depths was high in the pools.

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