What makes young salmon decide to leave their rivers and head out to Sea has been a hot topic for decades now. Current research from Umeå University shows that the young salmon's desire to migrate can partly be limited by anxiety. The complete study can be found in the journal Nature Communications.
Salmon is a species of high ecological and financial importance. Migrating from its freshwater residence in a river out to Sea is a critical step in every young Atlantic salmon's (Salmo salar) life, and a necessity for the salmon to grow to large size.
Researchers have long tried to understand what factors affect the young salmon's decision to migrate out to Sea. Previous studies have indicated that environmental factors such as temperature, light conditions and water flow may play an important role. However, large parts of the within species variation in fish migration remains unexplained.