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Characterization of local populations of the common sole Solea solea (Pisces, Soleidae) in the NW Mediterranean through otolith morphometrics and shape analysis
Mérigot, B.; Letourneur, Y.; Lecomte-Finiger, R. (2007). Characterization of local populations of the common sole Solea solea (Pisces, Soleidae) in the NW Mediterranean through otolith morphometrics and shape analysis. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(3): 997-1008. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-006-0549-0
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Mérigot, B.
  • Letourneur, Y.
  • Lecomte-Finiger, R.

Abstract
    Shape analyses were carried out on otoliths of the common sole, Solea solea (Linnaeus, 1758), in order to discriminate local populations in the North-Western Mediterranean Sea. Samples were collected in various environments like coastal lagoons, the outlet of the Rhone River as well as other marine sites. Morphological analyses highlighted a significant asymmetry between the left and right otoliths. This character could be acquired during or shortly after settlement on soft-bottoms when the individuals really become flatfishes. The otolith shape was described by seven harmonics from elliptic Fourier descriptors and by five indices of shape (coefficient of form, roundness, circularity, rectangularity, and ellipticity). The existence of several local populations of common sole in the NW Mediterranean was demonstrated. In particular, discriminant analyses highlighted significant differences in otolith shape according both to fish size and to the types of environment in which the fish live, i.e. coastal lagoons vs. marine sites, but also between sites belonging to the same type (lagoons, and marine sites). The differences in shape could be linked (1) to the particular environmental conditions of each site, and (2) to changes in metabolic and/or physiological conditions according to the stage of development of the fish which most likely influences the otolith growth.

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