Assessment of thermal refuge enhancement success for Atlantic salmon
River warming poses a critical threat to Atlantic salmon at multiple stages of its life cycle, mainly through increases in metabolic costs with temperature. When cold-water patches are available, behavioural thermoregulation may help salmon alleviate thermal stress by moving from warm mainstream water to cold thermal refuges. Availability of cold-water refuges is thus key to mitigate threats related to thermal stress for Atlantic salmon and has been the focus of habitat restoration efforts. Yet, the extent to which these efforts translate into improved productivity of salmon populations remains poorly understood. This project aims at evaluating the importance of cold-water refuges for Atlantic salmon by 1) assessing the performance of cold-water refuge enhancement for wild Atlantic salmon; 2) quantifying the bioenergetics benefits of cold-water refuges of varying quality for juvenile Atlantic salmon; and 3) assessing the importance of diurnal thermal stratification in rivers pools for adult Atlantic salmon.
Dr. Emmanuelle Chretien