The pH preferred and avoided by wild, adult brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis and brown trout Salmo trutta was examined in a series a laboratory tests using gradual and steep-gradient flow-through aquaria. The results were compared with those published for the observed segregation patterns of juvenile S. fontinalis and S. trutta in Pennsylvania streams. The adult S. trutta tested showed a preference for pH 4·0 while adult S. fontinalis did not prefer any pH within the range tested. Salmo trutta are not found in Pennsylvania streams with a base-flow pH < 5·8 which suggests that S. trutta prefer pH well above 4·0. Adult S. trutta displayed a lack of avoidance at pH below 5·0, as also reported earlier for juveniles. The avoidance pH of wild, adult S. fontinalis (between pH 5·5 and 6·0) and S. trutta (between pH 6·5 and 7·0) did not differ appreciably from earlier study results for the avoidance pH of juvenile S. fontinalis and S. trutta. A comparison of c.i. around these avoidance estimates indicates that avoidance pH is similar among adult S. fontinalis and S. trutta in this study. The limited overlap of c.i. for avoidance pH values for the two species, however, suggests that some S. trutta will display avoidance at a higher pH when S. fontinalis will not. The results of this study indicate that segregation patterns of adult S. fontinalis and S. trutta in Pennsylvania streams could be related to pH and that competition with S. trutta could be mediating the occurrence of S. fontinalis at some pH levels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science