Regetz, Jim Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:September 2015
Show previous versions
- General biology
- Species diversity
- Causes of endangerment
- Approaches to recovery
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The common name for a number of fish in the family Salmonidae that live in coastal waters of the North Atlantic and North Pacific and breed in rivers tributary to the oceans. Salmon are large, predatory fish belonging to the genera Oncorhynchus and Salmo (order Salmoniformes). The defining characteristic of salmon is their anadromous lifestyle: they spawn in freshwater, migrate to the ocean during development, and at maturity return to freshwater. Upon their return, salmon exhibit high site fidelity, spawning at or very near their natal breeding grounds, although a small fraction of individuals do stray to other areas. This general strategy proved to be enormously successful, with prodigious numbers of salmon traversing many river systems prior to human interference. However, as anthropogenic (human-induced) threats have continued to increase, salmon distribution and population sizes have decreased in many cases. Recognizing salmon's importance as an economic commodity, cultural symbol, and ecological indicator, scientists and conservationists have bolstered their efforts to identify threats, develop mitigation strategies, and ultimately recover these dwindling stocks. See also: Ecology; Freshwater ecosystem; Marine conservation; Marine ecology; Migratory behavior; Salmoniformes
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information