Within-stream variation in early life-history traits in brown trout


*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Present address: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 206 616 5761; fax: +1 206 685 7471; email: avollest@bio.uio.no.


Significant additive genetic variance for most early life-history traits was found in brown trout Salmo trutta living in both allopatry above an impassable waterfall and sympatry (below the waterfall in the same stream) with alpine bullhead Cottus poecilopus. These traits included length, mass and yolk sac volume at hatching, and size at‘button-up’ (the time when yolk is enclosed within the body cavity). There were small differences in size at hatching and size at button-up among populations (adjusted for egg size). However, sympatric fry grew more rapidly and experienced lower mortality rates during the period of first feeding than allopatric fry. This might indicate behavioural differences between brown trout from the two populations. It is suggested that these phenotypic differences may be a result of adaptation to living in sympatry with alpine bullhead.