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Spatial variation in otolith chemistry of Atlantic croaker larvae in the Mid-Atlantic Bight
Schaffler, J.J.; Reiss, C.S.; Jones, C.M. (2009). Spatial variation in otolith chemistry of Atlantic croaker larvae in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 382: 185-195. http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps07993
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Connectivity analysis; Larvae; Microchemistry; Otoliths; Solution; Spatial variations; Water masses; Micropogonias undulatus (Linnaeus, 1766) [WoRMS]; ANW, USA, Mid-Atlantic Bight [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Larvae; Otolith chemistry; Microchemistry; Connectivity; Spatialvariability; Solution; Laser; ICP-MS

Authors  Top 
  • Schaffler, J.J.
  • Reiss, C.S.
  • Jones, C.M.

Abstract
    Larval Atlantic croaker Micropogonias undulatus (1 to 7 mm in standard length) were collected on the cast coast of the United States from North Carolina to Delaware during 2000. We defined 3 water-mass boundaries for potential groups of spawning Atlantic croaker using temperature and salinity measured at each sampling station. We tested the hypothesis that distinct otolith chemistries existed among 3 groups of larval Atlantic croaker collected from these water masses using solution-based inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated that otolith chemistry differed significantly among water masses. Using a quadratic discriminant function, we were able to correctly classify fish from the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) 73% of the time, South Atlantic Bight (SAB) 53% of the time, and Chesapeake Bay plume 36% of the time. The correct reclassification rates observed were significantly better than random. Results from this study indicate that it is possible to obtain measurable elemental concentrations from otoliths much smaller than previously analyzed (weight 0.015 to 1.976 mu g). Moreover, contrary to previous Studies, our results indicate that it is possible to distinguish natal signatures among larvae on different spawning grounds in the MAB and SAB. Further, this new information Could benefit investigations of dispersal from offshore spawning grounds to estuaries or other nursery habitats.

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