Identifying migrations in marine fishes through stable-isotope analysis

Trueman, C.N., MacKenzie, K.M. and Palmer, M.R. (2012) Identifying migrations in marine fishes through stable-isotope analysis. Journal of Fish Biology, 81, (2), 826-847. (doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2012.03361.x).


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The isotopic composition of many elements varies across both land and ocean surfaces in a predictable fashion. These stable-isotope ratios are transferred into animal tissues, potentially providing a powerful natural geospatial tag. To date, most studies using stable isotopes as geolocators in marine settings have focussed on mammals and seabirds conducting large ocean-basin scale migrations. An increasing understanding of isotopic variation in the marine environment, and improved sampling and analytical techniques, however, means that stable isotopes now hold genuine promise as a natural geolocation tag in marine fishes. Here, the theoretical background underpinning the use of stable isotopes of C, N and O in otolith, scale and muscle tissues as geolocation tools in the marine environment is reviewed, and examples of their applications are provided.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2012.03361.x
ISSNs: 0022-1112 (print)
1095-8649 (electronic)
Keywords: chemical proxy; fishes; movement; oceanic; tracking
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QE Geology
Divisions : Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences > Ocean and Earth Science > Geochemistry
ePrint ID: 341755
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
July 2012Published
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2012 13:52
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 14:08

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