Using elemental fingerprinting in Western Baltic juvenile herring (Clupea harengus) otoliths to distinguish different nursery areas.

Moll, Dorothee, Kotterba, Paul, Jochum, Klaus P., von Nordheim, Lena and Polte, Patrick (2017) Using elemental fingerprinting in Western Baltic juvenile herring (Clupea harengus) otoliths to distinguish different nursery areas. [Poster] In: Biology Conference of Doctoral Candidates. , 09.06.2017, Tallin, Estland .

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Abstract

For many fish species, coastal areas are ecologically important by providing essential spawning and nursery habitats.
However these habitats are often highly impacted by multiple anthropogenic threats. Western Baltic populations of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) are an economically and ecologically important component of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Herring shows a distinct homing behavior returning to particular spawning grounds every year during spring. Attributed to early life stage mortality, herring recruitment decreased in the western Baltic Sea during the past two decades. Since major drivers and stressors for herring reproduction are potentially introduced on the local scale of spawning and nursery grounds, the knowledge of the contribution of different nurseries to population dynamics is essential but challenging to investigate.
We used elemental fingerprinting in herring otoliths to detect differences in the chemical composition based on varying water chemistry in particular spawning areas. Cluster analysis
revealed a distinct chemical separation between juvenile herring caught in the vicinity of the Island of Ruegen (southwestern Baltic Sea) and other potential nursery areas further west in the Baltic Sea. Elemental concentrations in juvenile herring otoliths differed significantly among areas, indicating that otolith chemistry is a suitable means to identify the origin
of herring offspring and therefore the contribution of particular nursery areas.
Further analyses of trace elements in otoliths from a random sample of adult herring will prove the ratio of individuals that originated in a certain nursery area. Otolith chemistry is considered a valuable tool for evaluating the contribution of different spawning areas to the adult population which could lead towards a more directed management of important spawning grounds and nursery areas.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Projects: BONUS BIO-C3
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 11:38
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2018 11:38
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/41560

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