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Monday, January 25 • 11:00am - 11:20am
Role of Olfactory Cues During Reproduction in Lake Trout and Implications For Restoration

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AUTHORS: Tyler Buchinger, Michigan State University; Nicholas Johnson, USGS; Weiming Li, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Historically, the Great Lakes hosted genetically diverse populations of lake trout Salvelinus namaycush that were specialized to various niches and spawning habitats. Sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus predation, habitat degradation, and overfishing led to near extirpation of lake trout in the early 1950s. Restoration of naturally reproducing and genetically diverse populations of lake trout is now a key management objective for the Great Lakes. However, lake trout restoration is impeded by low natural reproduction in many areas, and low diversity throughout the Great Lakes. Successful reproduction of natural and stocked lake trout has been hypothesized to be hampered in part by an inability to locate and spawn on highly productive reefs. Furthermore, the mechanisms of reproductive isolation that result in genetic diversity remain unclear. Olfactory cues are hypothesized to guide lake trout to spawning reefs and facilitate spawning behaviors, and may mediate reproductive isolation between populations. Here, we highlight recent efforts to characterize the role of olfaction in lake trout reproduction. First, we evaluate the evidence for the hypothesized roles of juvenile, male, and female pheromones. We then present a revised working model of the function of pheromones, and expand the hypothesis to include olfactory imprinting on unique chemical signatures of a rearing environment. We conclude with future research plans and a vision on how olfactory biology can be incorporated into the restoration of lake trout in the Great Lakes.

Monday January 25, 2016 11:00am - 11:20am EST
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