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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 447:151-164 (2012)  -  DOI:

Reconstructing individual food and growth histories from biogenic carbonates

Laure Pecquerie1,2,*, Ronan Fablet3,4, Hélène de Pontual5, Sylvain Bonhommeau6, Marianne Alunno-Bruscia7, Pierre Petitgas8, Sebastiaan A. L. M. Kooijman9

1University of California Santa Barbara, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, Santa Barbara, California 93106-9620, USA
2IRD, UMR 212 EME, Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale, 34203 Sète, France
3Telecom Bretagne, UMR CNRS 3192 Lab-STICC, 29230 Brest, France
4Université Européenne de Bretagne, 35000 Rennes, France
5Ifremer, Département Sciences et Technologies Halieutiques, 29280 Plouzané, France
6Ifremer, UMR 212 EME, Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale, 34203 Sète, France
7Ifremer, Département Physiologie des Organismes Marins, 29840 Argenton-Landunvez, France
8Ifremer, Département Ecologie et Modèles pour l’Halieutique, 44300 Nantes, France
9Vrije Universiteit, Department of Theoretical Biology, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT: Environmental conditions experienced by aquatic organisms are archived in biogenic carbonates such as fish otoliths, bivalve shells and coral skeletons. These calcified structures present an accretionary growth and variations in optical properties (color or opacity) that are used to reconstruct time. However, full and reliable exploitation of the information extracted from these structures is often limited as the metabolic processes that control their growth and optical properties are poorly understood. Here, we propose a new modeling framework that couples both the growth of a biogenic carbonate and its optical properties with the metabolism of the organism. The model relies on well-tested properties of the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory. It is applied to otoliths of the Bay of Biscay anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus, for which a DEB model has been previously developed. The model reproduces well-known otolith patterns and thus provides us with mechanisms for the metabolic control of otolith size and opacity at the scale of an individual life span. Two original contributions using this framework are demonstrated. (1) The model can be used to reconstruct the temporal variations in the food assimilated by an individual fish. Reconstructing food conditions of past and present aquatic species in their natural environment provides key ecological information that can be used to better understand population dynamics. (2) We show that non-seasonal checks can be discriminated from seasonal checks, which is a well-recognized problem when interpreting fish otoliths. We suggest further developments of the model and outline the experimental settings required to test this new promising framework.

KEY WORDS: Otolith · Calcification · Metabolism · Bioenergetic model · Food reconstruction · Dynamic Energy Budget theory

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Cite this article as: Pecquerie L, Fablet R, de Pontual H, Bonhommeau S, Alunno-Bruscia M, Petitgas P, Kooijman SALM (2012) Reconstructing individual food and growth histories from biogenic carbonates. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 447:151-164.

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