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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 138:33-39 (1996)  -  doi:10.3354/meps138033

Does otolith structure reflect the nutritional condition of a fish larva? Comparison of otolith structure and biochemical index (RNA/DNA ratio) determined on cod larvae

Clemmesen C, Doan T

Cod larvae from laboratory rearing experiments aged from 1 to 12 d after hatching, both fed and deprived of food, were analysed. The number of increments on the otolith and the width of these increments were determined together with the RNA/DNA ratios on the same individual larva. Alizarin marking of the otoliths was performed to confirm the formation of daily increments. Cod larvae reared at 6*C formed the first ring right after hatching and deposited increments on a daily basis. A comparison of the measurements between the right and the left lapillus showed that these can differ, if the radius is taken. The lapillae core showed especially high individual variability, whereas the sum of the increments did not differ between both lapilli. Until Day 10 after hatching, while the larvae were still feeding on their yolk, the external food situation did not affect the increment width of the lapilli or the RNA/DNA ratios. In larvae older than 10 d the width of the daily increments was dependent on the nutritional situation and RNA/DNA ratios decreased in starving larvae in comparison to feeding larvae. RNA/DNA ratios and increment widths were correlated.

Nutritional condition . RNA/DNA ratio . Otolith microstructure . Recruitment . Cod larvae

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