Oxidative stress and partial migration in brown trout (Salmo trutta)

Kim Birnie-Gauvin, K. S. Peiman, Martin Hage Larsen, Henrik Baktoft, Kim Aarestrup, W. G Willmore, S. J. Cooke

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During migration, animals are typically limited by their endogenous energetic resources which must be allocated to the physiological costs associated with locomotion, as well as avoiding and/or compensating for oxidative stress. To date, there have been few attempts to understand the role of oxidative status in migration biology, particularly in fish. Semi-anadromous brown trout (Salmo trutta, Linnaeus 1758) exhibit partial migration, where some individuals smoltify and migrate to sea, and others become stream residents, providing us with an excellent model to investigate the link between oxidative stress and migration. Using the brown trout, we obtained blood samples from juveniles from a coastal stream in Denmark in the fall prior to peak seaward migration which occurs in the spring, and assayed for antioxidant capacity (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) and oxidative stress levels (ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione). We found that individuals that migrated had higher antioxidant capacity than residents and that future migration date was negatively correlated with both antioxidant capacity and body length in the fall. This study provides the first evidence that oxidative status is associated with migration strategy and timing, months in advance of the actual migration, and provides insight into the role of oxidative status in animal migration
Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)829-835
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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