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Seeking the true time: Exploring otolith chemistry as an age-determination tool

Heimbrand, Yvette and Limburg, Karin and Casini, Michele and Sjöberg, Rajlie and Palmén Bratt, Anne-Marie and Levinsky, Svend-Erik and Karpushevskaia, Anastasia and Radtke, Krzysztof and Öhlund, Jill (2020). Seeking the true time: Exploring otolith chemistry as an age-determination tool. Journal of Fish Biology. 97 , 552-565
[Journal article]

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Abstract

Fish otoliths' chronometric properties make them useful for age and growth rate estimation in fisheries management. For the Eastern Baltic Sea cod stock (Gadus morhua), unclear seasonal growth zones in otoliths have resulted in unreliable age and growth information. Here, a new age estimation method based on seasonal patterns in trace elemental otolith incorporation was tested for the first time and compared with the traditional method of visually counting growth zones, using otoliths from the Baltic and North seas. Various trace elemental ratios, linked to fish metabolic activity (higher in summer) or external environment (migration to colder, deeper habitats with higher salinity in winter), were tested for age estimation based on assessing their seasonal variations in concentration. Mg:Ca and P:Ca, both proxies for growth and metabolic activity, showed greatest seasonality and therefore have the best potential to be used as chemical clocks. Otolith image readability was significantly lower in the Baltic than in the North Sea. The chemical (novel) method had an overall greater precision and percentage agreement among readers (11.2%, 74.0%) than the visual (traditional) method (23.1%, 51.0%). Visual readers generally selected more highly contrasting zones as annuli whereas the chemical readers identified brighter regions within the first two annuli and darker zones thereafter. Visual estimates produced significantly higher, more variable ages than did the chemical ones. Based on the analyses in our study, we suggest that otolith microchemistry is a promising alternative ageing method for fish populations difficult to age, such as the Eastern Baltic cod.

Authors/Creators:Heimbrand, Yvette and Limburg, Karin and Casini, Michele and Sjöberg, Rajlie and Palmén Bratt, Anne-Marie and Levinsky, Svend-Erik and Karpushevskaia, Anastasia and Radtke, Krzysztof and Öhlund, Jill
Title:Seeking the true time: Exploring otolith chemistry as an age-determination tool
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:97
Page range:552-565
Number of Pages:14
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Fisheries Society of the British Isles
ISSN:0022-1112
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:age estimation, Baltic Sea, Gadus morhua, LA-ICP-MS, otolith chemistry, seasonal patterns
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106479
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106479
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/jfb.14422
Web of Science (WoS)000547171700001
ID Code:17383
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:02 Sep 2020 09:46
Metadata Last Modified:02 Sep 2020 09:46

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