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Polar Lakes and RiversLimnology of Arctic and Antarctic Aquatic Ecosystems$
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Warwick F. Vincent and Johanna Laybourn-Parry

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199213887

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213887.001.0001

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Fish in high-latitude Arctic lakes

Fish in high-latitude Arctic lakes

Chapter:
(p.249) CHAPTER 14 Fish in high-latitude Arctic lakes
Source:
Polar Lakes and Rivers
Author(s):

Michael Power (Contributor Webpage)

James D. Reist

J. Brian Dempson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213887.003.0014

There is a limited freshwater fish fauna in the high Arctic, with Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) dominating in most aquatic systems. In the high Arctic, Arctic char are the only resident freshwater species, which display a complex variety of life-history tactics, varying in growth and feeding patterns to produce ecophenotypes that occupy distinctive niches. Anadromous Arctic char use lake habitats for critical life-history stages, including reproduction, juvenile growth, and over-wintering. Lakes, therefore, provide essential habitat for all Arctic char populations. Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) also occur in the Arctic, and are an important food source where they occur. Most other species, with the exception of sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus and Pungitius pungitius), occur only as populations at the northern fringes of their distributional range. While their occurrence can complicate the ecology of any given lake, such species are not an integral part of most high Arctic lake environments.

Keywords:   char, salmon, sticklebacks, anadromous fish, life-history strategies, fish productivity, migration, adaptation

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