Individual-based dispersal patterns of larval gobies in an estuary as indicated by otolith elemental fingerprints
Keywords:trace element, otolith, gobies, ICPMS, estuary, larval dispersal
Otolith trace elements were used as natural tags to study the dispersal patterns of goby larvae in an estuary. Ninety-six larval gobies representing 10 species were collected in the estuary of Gongshytyan Creek in northwestern Taiwan in September 1997. Fifteen trace elements in fish otoliths were analysed with solution-based ICPMS. Trace elemental composition in otoliths differed significantly among the species. Habitat use by the larvae of the 10 species can be divided into four groups, based on principal component analysis of otolith elemental composition. All 10 goby species used the estuary as a nursery area irrespective of the fish being amphidromous or non-amphidromous. A part of the population may be lost during larval dispersal, as indicated from trace elemental composition recorded in the otolith.
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