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Elemental composition of otolith growth marks in three geographically separated populations of European hake (Merluccius merluccius)
Tomás, J.; Geffen, A.J.; Millner, R.S.; Piñeiro, C.G.; Tserpes, G. (2006). Elemental composition of otolith growth marks in three geographically separated populations of European hake (Merluccius merluccius). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 148(6): 1399-1413
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Tomás, J.
  • Geffen, A.J.
  • Millner, R.S.
  • Piñeiro, C.G.
  • Tserpes, G.

Abstract
    The composition of the opaque and translucent bands in the otoliths of European hake (Merluccius merluccius) from three different populations (Celtic Sea, Galicia shelf and Cretan Sea) was analysed with wavelength dispersive spectrometry (WDS) and differences in Ca, Sr and Na were compared. The translucent bands (annual marks and checks altogether) were significantly richer in Sr and Ca and significantly poorer in Na than opaque bands. Results support the idea of a more compact arrangement of crystals in translucent bands compared to opaque. Analyses did not help to discriminate between putative annual marks and checks. Clear differences in the range of Sr/Ca variation across the otolith as well as in the composition of the otolith core were observed among the three populations. As a result it was possible to discriminate the natal origin of each fish using the composition of the otolith core in Ca, Sr and Na. Nevertheless, the overall pattern across the otolith was similar among the three populations suggesting the existence of ontogenetic trends. Variation of Na/Ca ratios was largely uninformative. Based on these results, a conceptual model for hake is proposed which integrates the different sources of otolith Sr/Ca variation: ambient Sr/Ca, endogenous cues (ontogeny) and exogenous cues (environment).

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