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Quantifying physiological influences on otolith microchemistry

Quantifying physiological influences on otolith microchemistry
Quantifying physiological influences on otolith microchemistry
Summary

Trace element concentrations in fish earstones (‘otoliths’) are widely used to discriminate spatially discrete populations or individuals of marine fish, based on a commonly held assumption that physiological influences on otolith composition are minor, and thus variations in otolith elemental chemistry primarily reflect changes in ambient water chemistry.
We carried out a long-term (1-year) experiment, serially sampling seawater, blood plasma and otoliths of mature and immature European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.) to test relationships between otolith chemistry and environmental and physiological variables.
Seasonal variations in otolith elemental composition did not track seawater concentrations, but instead reflected physiological controls on metal transport and biokinetics, which are likely moderated by ambient temperature. The influence of physiological factors on otolith composition was particularly evident in Sr/Ca ratios, the most widely used elemental marker in applied otolith microchemistry studies. Reproduction also triggered specific variations in otolith and blood plasma metal chemistry, especially Zn/Ca ratios in female fish, which could potentially serve as retrospective spawning indicators.
The influence of physiology on the trace metal composition of otoliths may explain the success of microchemical stock discrimination in relatively homogenous marine environments, but could complicate alternative uses for trace element compositions in biominerals of higher organisms.
biochemistry, fisheries management, migration, oxygen isotopes, population structure, reproductive cycle, trace metal, vital effect
2041-210X
806-816
Sturrock, Anna M.
f93af2bc-7539-4f77-8247-4cfb0fbf2f94
Hunter, Ewan
75352862-16aa-44ee-aa31-ff56bf2305ea
Milton, J. Andrew
9e183221-d0d4-4ddb-aeba-0fdde9d31230
Johnson, Rachel C.
ef8105e2-0224-4b9a-ab24-c1e3ae8fcb63
Waring, Colin P.
77a4fb00-267a-4b2f-abb8-715fa15cabba
Trueman, Clive N.
d00d3bd6-a47b-4d47-89ae-841c3d506205
Sturrock, Anna M.
f93af2bc-7539-4f77-8247-4cfb0fbf2f94
Hunter, Ewan
75352862-16aa-44ee-aa31-ff56bf2305ea
Milton, J. Andrew
9e183221-d0d4-4ddb-aeba-0fdde9d31230
Johnson, Rachel C.
ef8105e2-0224-4b9a-ab24-c1e3ae8fcb63
Waring, Colin P.
77a4fb00-267a-4b2f-abb8-715fa15cabba
Trueman, Clive N.
d00d3bd6-a47b-4d47-89ae-841c3d506205

Sturrock, Anna M., Hunter, Ewan, Milton, J. Andrew, Johnson, Rachel C., Waring, Colin P. and Trueman, Clive N. (2015) Quantifying physiological influences on otolith microchemistry. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 6 (7), 806-816. (doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12381).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Summary

Trace element concentrations in fish earstones (‘otoliths’) are widely used to discriminate spatially discrete populations or individuals of marine fish, based on a commonly held assumption that physiological influences on otolith composition are minor, and thus variations in otolith elemental chemistry primarily reflect changes in ambient water chemistry.
We carried out a long-term (1-year) experiment, serially sampling seawater, blood plasma and otoliths of mature and immature European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.) to test relationships between otolith chemistry and environmental and physiological variables.
Seasonal variations in otolith elemental composition did not track seawater concentrations, but instead reflected physiological controls on metal transport and biokinetics, which are likely moderated by ambient temperature. The influence of physiological factors on otolith composition was particularly evident in Sr/Ca ratios, the most widely used elemental marker in applied otolith microchemistry studies. Reproduction also triggered specific variations in otolith and blood plasma metal chemistry, especially Zn/Ca ratios in female fish, which could potentially serve as retrospective spawning indicators.
The influence of physiology on the trace metal composition of otoliths may explain the success of microchemical stock discrimination in relatively homogenous marine environments, but could complicate alternative uses for trace element compositions in biominerals of higher organisms.

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Published date: July 2015
Keywords: biochemistry, fisheries management, migration, oxygen isotopes, population structure, reproductive cycle, trace metal, vital effect
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 380120
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/380120
ISSN: 2041-210X
PURE UUID: d5cd53e6-bba1-4d65-a97a-07b56fe7604c

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Date deposited: 05 Aug 2015 16:17
Last modified: 16 Dec 2019 20:15

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Contributors

Author: Anna M. Sturrock
Author: Ewan Hunter
Author: Rachel C. Johnson
Author: Colin P. Waring

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