Year-round monitoring of Arctic species of sculpin to identify residency and seasonality of movement behavior

Academic Article


  • Environments change across space and time, often requiring organisms to exhibit behavioral responses. In the Arctic, migratory consumers are motivated by spring resources to follow receding ice; however, resident species’ responses to this ephemeral productivity are less well understood. We characterized the movement behaviors of relatively sedentary Arctic species of sculpin ( Myoxocephalus spp.) in Tremblay Sound, Nunavut, Canada. Movements of individuals ( n = 60) captured during the ice-free periods of 2017–2019 were monitored year-round via an array of acoustic telemetry receivers ( n = 37). Telemetry data confirmed year-round residency within the Sound, yet sculpins were consistently more active and wider ranging during the ice-free period versus the ice-covered winters. Sequence analysis revealed distinct patterns of activity differentiated primarily by regional associations. Together, these results indicate sculpins are highly sedentary, but move more during the ice-free season, suggesting the importance of the seasonal productivity pulse to these fishes. As resident species are adapted to exploit the conditions within their local environment, sculpins provide valuable indicator species to monitor coastal and benthic Arctic ecosystems that are experiencing rapid change.
  • Authors

  • Hermann, Nathan T
  • Hammer, Lars J
  • Hussey, Nigel E
  • Marcoux, Marianne
  • Hedges, Kevin J
  • Walter, Ryan P
  • Furey, Nathaniel
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 1, 2023
  • Has Subject Area

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 1798
  • End Page

  • 1812
  • Volume

  • 80
  • Issue

  • 11