MEPS Vol. 290 Feature Article

Photo: Steve Lonhart

Zacherl DC

 

Spatial and temporal variation in statolith and protoconch trace elements as natural tags to track larval dispersal

 

Using hard body parts from the predatory gastropod Kelletia kelletii (photo), Danielle Zacherl presents evidence that the calcified structures of larvae developing in different regions of this species' range carry unique tags of their birthplace. Since these hard parts are retained well after settlement, they could be useful tools for tracking incoming settlers back to their origin. An ability to identify the natal source of recruits will lead to improvements in our understanding of connectivity, dynamics, and community structure in invertebrate populations.

 

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