Overview

Distribution

Distribution: Northern Hemisphere, but widely introduced in cold waters for sports and aquaculture. Many are anadromous, spending part of their life at sea, but returning to freshwater where all species spawn in a gravel bed in rivers or streams; most fish die after spawning. Small cycloid scales. Gill membranes reaching far forward, detached from isthmus. Axillary process on pelvics. Last three vertebrae directed upward. No spines. Adipose fin present. Attains 1.5 m (maybe 2 m) maximum length. Highly valuable in sport and commercial fisheries. There is disagreement about the status of some species and genera.
  • MASDEA (1997).
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Ecology

Associations

Animal / pathogen
colony of Saprolegnia parasitica infects epidermis of Salmonidae

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Known predators

Salmonidae (trout) is prey of:
Esocidae
Homo sapiens

Based on studies in:
Scotland (Lake or pond)
Scotland, Loch Leven (Lake or pond)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • N. C. Morgan and D. S. McLusky, A summary of the Loch Leven IBP results in relation to lake management and future research, Proc. R. Soc. Edinburgh Series B 74:407-416, from p. 408 (1972).
  • M. E. Blindloss, A. V. Holden, A. E. Bailey-Watts and I. R. Smith, Phytoplankton production, chemical and physical conditions in Loch Leven. Productivity Problems of Freshwaters (Eds. Z. Kajak and A. Hillbricht-Ilkowska), Polish Scientific Publishers, War
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Known prey organisms

Salmonidae (trout) preys on:
Asellus
Valvata herb
Chironomidae
Daphnia
fry
Penaeidae
Mugilidae
Actinopterygii
zooplankton
detritivore
Percidae

Based on studies in:
Scotland (Lake or pond)
Scotland, Loch Leven (Lake or pond)
USA: Florida (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • N. C. Morgan and D. S. McLusky, A summary of the Loch Leven IBP results in relation to lake management and future research, Proc. R. Soc. Edinburgh Series B 74:407-416, from p. 408 (1972).
  • W. M. Kemp, W. H. B. Smith, H. N. McKellar, M. E. Lehman, M. Homer, D. L. Young and H. T. Odum, Energy cost-benefit analysis applied to power plants near Crystal River, Florida. In: Ecosystem Modeling in Theory and Practice: An Introduction with Case His
  • M. E. Blindloss, A. V. Holden, A. E. Bailey-Watts and I. R. Smith, Phytoplankton production, chemical and physical conditions in Loch Leven. Productivity Problems of Freshwaters (Eds. Z. Kajak and A. Hillbricht-Ilkowska), Polish Scientific Publishers, War
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:3,806Public Records:1,877
Specimens with Sequences:3,299Public Species:80
Specimens with Barcodes:3,227Public BINs:41
Species:110         
Species With Barcodes:98         
          
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Barcode data

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Salmonidae

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Conservation

Threats

Many salmon species face a multitude of often devastating threats, including overfishing, habitat degradation (e.g., as a result of mining, timber cutting, agriculture, and urbanization), obstruction of migratory routes (e.g., by dams and hydroelectric plants), and interbreeding and other ecological interactions with hatchery-raised salmon (IUCN 2009).

In addition to these threats, salmon face additional challenges caused by rapid climate change (Battin et al. 2007; Crozier et al. 2008; IUCN 2009). For example, because the developmental rate of salmon is directly related to water temperature, it is possible that increasing temperatures could cause the more rapidly developing juveniles to enter the ocean before their planktonic food source has reached sufficiently high levels to sustain them (IUCN 2009). Increased water temperatures could cause other problems as well. Areas of particularly warm freshwater can present a thermal barrier to migrating salmon that then requires additional energy to navigate around. Such barriers can also delay or even prevent spawning. As air temperatures warm, much of the snow that feeds the river systems is expected to melt earlier. In many cases snow is predicted to be replaced by rain. This will lead to a reduction in the summer flows of many rivers, coupled with an increase in freshwater inputs during the winter. A reduction in summer flow levels will serve to increase water temperatures further and is likely to reduce the overall habitat available to salmon. Increased winter flows are likely to scour the river beds, disturbing nests and causing physical damage to both salmon eggs and juveniles. Coupled with an increase in freshwater inputs is an increase in the sedimentation of river and stream beds. Such sedimentation is likely to reduce the amount of gravel substrate available for spawning and to smother both eggs and juveniles (IUCN 2009).

Because salmon inhabit diverse habitats, and a single species may live in both freshwater and marine habitats during different parts of its life history, the impacts of climate change may be very complex and highly dependent on both the particular species and local geography and ecology. Predicting the specific effects of climate change on salmon in their marine environment is especially difficult as a consequence of our limited knowledge of the marine habits of salmon, combined with uncertainties about how marine habitats will be affected by climate change.

Some salmon populations at higher latitudes may actually benefit from warmer temperatures through increased productivity. It is possible that a warmer climate could make new spawning habitats available, as has been observed in parts of Alaska. Rapid climate change is likely to lead to unexpected consequences and shifts in ecosystems and fisheries, and humans will need to be prepared to adapt to these new conditions (IUCN 2009). Some evolutionary response on the part of salmon to changing environmental conditions is to be expected, but these environmental changes might produce conflicting selection pressures in different life stages, which will interact with plastic (i.e., nongenetic) changes in complex ways that are very challenging to predict (Crozier et al. 2008).

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Wikipedia

Salmonidae

Salmonidae is a family of ray-finned fish, the only living family currently placed in the order Salmoniformes. It includes salmon, trout, chars, freshwater whitefishes and graylings. The Atlantic salmon and trout of the genus Salmo give the family and order their names.

Salmonids have a relatively primitive appearance among the teleost fish, with the pelvic fins being placed far back, and an adipose fin towards the rear of the back. They are slender fish, with rounded scales and forked tails. Their mouths contain a single row of sharp teeth.[2] Although the smallest species is just 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long as an adult, most are much larger, with the largest reaching 2 metres (6.6 ft).[1]

All salmonids spawn in fresh water, but in many cases the fish spend most of their lives at sea, returning to the rivers only to reproduce. This life cycle is described as anadromous. They are predators, feeding on small crustaceans, aquatic insects, and smaller fish.[2]

Evolution[edit]

Enchodus petrosus mounted skeleton cast in the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado

Current salmonids arose from three lineages: whitefish (Coregoninae), graylings (Thymallinae), and the char, trout and salmons (Salmonidae). Generally, all three lineages are accepted to share a suite of derived traits indicating a monophyletic group.[3]

Salmonidae first appear in the fossil record in the middle Eocene with the fossil Eosalmo driftwoodensis, which was first described from fossils found at Driftwood Creek, central British Columbia. This genus shares traits found in the Salmoninae, whitefish and grayling lineages. Hence, E. driftwoodensis is an archaic salmonid, representing an important stage in salmonid evolution.[3]

A gap appears in the salmonine fossil record after E. driftwoodensis until about seven million years ago (mya), in the late Miocene, when trout-like fossils appear in Idaho, in the Clarkia Lake beds.[4] Several of these species appear to be Oncorhynchus—the current genus for Pacific salmon and some trout. The presence of these species so far inland established that Oncorhynchus was not only present in the Pacific drainages before the beginning of the Pliocene (~5–6 mya), but also that rainbow and cutthroat trout, and Pacific salmon lineages had diverged before the beginning of the Pliocene. Consequently, the split between Oncorhynchus and Salmo (Atlantic salmon) must have occurred well before the Pliocene. Suggestions have gone back as far as the early Miocene (~20 mya).[3][5]

Classification[edit]

Together with the closely related Esociformes (the pikes and related fishes), Osmeriformes (e.g. smelts) and Argentiniformes, the Salmoniformes comprise the superorder Protacanthopterygii.

The Salmonidae (and Salmoniformes) are divided into three subfamilies and around ten genera:[1]

Order Salmoniformes

Timeline of genera[edit]

QuaternaryNeogenePaleogeneCretaceousHolocenePleistocenePlioceneMioceneOligoceneEocenePaleoceneLate CretaceousEarly CretaceousThymallusOncorhynchusSalvelinusProsopiumHuchoSmilodonichthysRhabdofarioUmbridaeSalmoEosalmoThaumaturusNatlandiaGoudkoffiaPseudoberyxGinsburgiaGharbouriaGaudryellaBarcarenichthyesHelgolandichthysPseudoleptolepisChardoniusCasieroidesQuaternaryNeogenePaleogeneCretaceousHolocenePleistocenePlioceneMioceneOligoceneEocenePaleoceneLate CretaceousEarly Cretaceous

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2008). "Salmonidae" in FishBase. December 2008 version.
  2. ^ a b McDowell, Robert M. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 114–116. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  3. ^ a b c McPhail, J.D.; Strouder, D.J. (1997). "Pacific Salmon and Their Ecosystems: Status and Future Options". The Origin and Speciation of Oncorhynchus. New York, New York: Chapman & Hall. 
  4. ^ Smiley, Charles J. "Late Cenozoic History of the Pacific Northwest". Association for the Advancement of Science: Pacific Division. Retrieved 2006-08-08. [dead link]
  5. ^ Montgomery, David R. (2000). "Coevolution of the Pacific Salmon and Pacific Rim Topography". Department of Geological Sciences, University of Washington. Retrieved 2006-08-08. [dead link]

References[edit]

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