New Insights into Fish Ecology via Nuclear Microscopy of Otoliths

K E Limburg, Mikael Elfman, Per Kristiansson, Klas Malmqvist, Jan Pallon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


Otoliths, or earstones, are small, biogenic concretions of aragonitic calcium carbonate precipitated on a protein matrix. Otoliths form part of the hearing and balance system in teleost fishes, and grow as the fish grow, providing a continuous biochronology of growth. Various elements are entrained in minor and trace quantities. In particular, strontium is a useful scalar of habitat use when variable environmental gradients exist. By mapping elemental concentrations and ratios with the Lund nuclear microprobe, we have used strontium in many cases as a proxy for salinity, because Sr:Ca values are roughly an order of magnitude higher in marine vs most fresh waters. In addition, zinc shows strong seasonal variations in salmoniform fishes (salmons, charrs, and whitefishes have been tested to date). We present case studies of several species, and discuss exciting future directions in this research that is revolutionizing fisheries ecology. ©2003 American Institute of Physics
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIP Conf. Proc. -- August 26, 2003
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics (AIP)
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Publication series


Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Nuclear Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011013007)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Subatomic Physics


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