Influence of Environmental Variability on the Growth of Age-0 and Adult Arctic Grayling
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
We examined the influence of river discharge and temperature on growth of adult and age-0 Arctic grayling Thymallus arcticus in the Kuparuk River (1985–1996) and Oksrukuyik Creek (1990–1996) during the Arctic growing season (late June to mid-August). Grayling growth was compared against six physical variables (river, nutrient level, mean summer discharge, mean summer temperature, consecutive days with extreme low flow, and total days with extreme high flow) using stepwise regression analysis. Fifty-six percent of the variance in adult grayling growth rate in both rivers was associated with nutrient level and mean summer discharge. Sixty percent of the variance in age-0 grayling weight at 40 d was associated with nutrient level, mean summer discharge, mean summer temperature, and river. The correlation with discharge was positive for adult grayling growth but negative for age-0 grayling weight. This study suggests that river discharge and water temperature may influence long-term survival and population dynamics of grayling in Arctic tundra streams.