Timing of atlantic cod Gadus morhua seasonal migrations in relation to serum levels of gonadal and thyroidal hormones

L. A. Comeau*, S. E. Campana, G. A. Chouinard, J. M. Hanson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Serum testosterone, estradiol-17β (E2), L-thyroxine (T4), 3, 5, 3′-triiodo-L-thyronine (T3), and free (protein-unbound) T3 concentrations were examined in relation to the extensive (up to 650 km) seasonal migrations undertaken by southern Gulf of St. Lawrence cod Gadus morhua L. Testosterone levels were low as the stock moved out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in autumn, and increased only during the final stages of the return migration in spring. E2 in females peaked near the onset of the spring migration, and remained elevated until this migration was completed in early summer. However, we suggest that the changes in E2 levels are functionally tied with egg development and not with spring migratory behaviour. Free T3 showed no consistent pattern in relation to seasonal migrations, whereas T4 and T3 levels increased at the start of the autumn migration. We conclude that thyroid hormones may facilitate the onset of the autumn migration by enhancing metabolism, sensory physiology and swimming capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume221
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2001

Other keywords

  • Cod
  • Equinox
  • Gadus morhua
  • Gonadal hormones
  • Gulf of St. Lawrence
  • Migration
  • Thyroid hormones

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