Multi-element otolith chemistry of juvenile sole (Solea solea), whiting (Merlangius merlangus) and European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in the Thames Estuary and adjacent coastal regions

Chris D. B. Leakey*, Martin J. Attrill, Mark F. Fitzsimons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Estuaries are regarded as valuable nursery habitats for many commercially important marine fishes, potentially providing a thermal resource, refuge from predators and a source of abundant prey. To assess the extent of estuarine use by juvenile (0+) common sole (Solea solea). whiting (Merlangius merlangus) and European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) we: (1) developed techniques to distinguish between estuarine and coastally-caught juveniles using otolith chemistry; and (2) examined the accuracy with which multi-elemental signatures could re-classify juveniles to their region of collection.

High-resolution solution-based inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HB-SB-ICPMS) was used to quantify 32 elements within the juvenile otoliths; 14 elements occurred above detection limits for all samples. Some elemental distributions demonstrated clear differences between estuarine and coastally-caught fish. Multivariate analysis of the otolith chemistry data resulted in 95-100% re-classification accuracy to the region of collection. Estuarine and coastal signatures were most clearly defined for sole which, compared to bass and whiting, have low mobility and are less likely to move from estuarine to coastal habitats between larval settlement and later migration to adult stocks. Sole were the only species to reveal an energetic benefit associated with an estuarine juvenile phase. The physiological ability of bass to access upper estuarine regions was consistent with some elemental data, while the high mobility and restricted range of whiting resulted in less distinct otolith chemistries. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-274
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sea Research
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

Keywords

  • Otolith chemistry
  • Marine fish
  • Estuarine
  • Coastal
  • Thames Estuary
  • SR-CA RATIOS
  • CORAL-REEF FISHES
  • ELEMENTAL COMPOSITION
  • CALCIFIED STRUCTURES
  • COMMUNITY STRUCTURE
  • TRACE-ELEMENTS
  • MARINE FISHES
  • NURSERY
  • POPULATIONS
  • RECRUITMENT

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