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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 437:279-290 (2011)  -  DOI:

Spatial pattern of natal signatures in the otoliths of juvenile kelp rockfish along the Californian coast

Julie D. Standish1,*, J. Wilson White2, Robert R. Warner

1Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA
2Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, California 95616, USA

ABSTRACT: The natal origin of a post-dispersal marine fish may be determined by examining the trace elemental signatures present in the core (i.e. the pre-dispersal region) of the otolith. We found distinct spatial differences in the natal elemental signatures in the core region of the otoliths of post-dispersal juvenile kelp rockfish Sebastes atrovirens collected along the coast of California, USA. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry of individual otolith cores revealed detectable levels of Mn, Mg, Ba, and Sr. Using a Bayesian classification model, 2 unique elemental signature types were identified in both 2001 and 2002, and the signatures were chemically similar across years. In both years, locations received a mixture of natal types (‘A’ and ‘B’), indicating the contribution of at least 2 chemically distinct sources to recruitment. The spatial pattern of the natal types varied among sites for both years. In 2001, Type A was nearly absent from the northernmost location, suggesting a southern origin and a limitation in the dispersal and contribution of this chemically identified natal type. In 2002, most locations had a mix of Types A and B, but Type A was most abundant in the south and least abundant in the central part of the spatial domain. However, it was not possible to specify the full extent of dispersal of either natal type. We demonstrated use of elemental signatures in the otolith core of post-dispersal individuals to evaluate larval dispersal patterns which may document the extent to which kelp rockfish populations along the California coast receive recruits from different chemically distinct sources.

KEY WORDS: Larval dispersal · Otolith chemistry · Otolith natal signature · Mass spectrometry · Sebastes atrovirens

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Cite this article as: Standish JD, White JW, Warner RR (2011) Spatial pattern of natal signatures in the otoliths of juvenile kelp rockfish along the Californian coast. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 437:279-290.

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