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Isolation of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) nursery areas
Gibb, F.M.; Gibb, I.M.; Wright, P.J. (2007). Isolation of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) nursery areas. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(3): 1185-1194.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Gibb, F.M.
  • Gibb, I.M.
  • Wright, P.J.

    This study examines the degree of isolation among 0-group Atlantic cod in a region where a number of resident adult congregations have been found. The location of key nursery areas in Scottish coastal waters was identified from trawl surveys of settled 0-group cod around the Scottish coast. Segregation among four of these key areas; within the Clyde, Shetland Isles, Moray Firth and Buchan was investigated using otolith elemental composition. Isotope concentrations in the otoliths of cod were analysed by solution-based inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry of the whole otolith. Discriminant analyses showed a clear separation between nursery areas based on the concentrations of three elements (manganese, barium and magnesium). The concentration of these elements was not affected by the age or size of individuals. Classification accuracy exceeded 90% for all four sites. Evidence of temporal persistence in the relative spatial differences in elemental concentrations between two sites for 2 year-classes was found. The results suggest limited exchange between sites during some period of the early life history. The significance of this limited exchange is discussed in relation to recent evidence for adult fidelity and the utility of closed areas for protecting nursery grounds

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