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Validated statistical relationship between daily temperature exposure, behaviour type and otoliths microstructure ('ethotyping')

Prior to the CODYSSEY project the only experimental work on otolith accretion had been conducted on larval and early juvenile stages of fish. These studies demonstrated that otolith structure responded rapidly to extrinsic changes such as temperature and food availability. The work undertaken in CODYSSEY is the first to link experimental and field investigations of otolith formation in adult fish, but our findings suggest that the otoliths of adult cod are unlikely to provide a reliable record of short - term (weekly) changes in behaviour unless the behaviour leads to a very large change in temperature. It is therefore not surprising that whilst there were some cases of a clear change in otolith properties that corresponded with a change in depth and temperature recorded by the DST it was more common not to find such a match. Our findings therefore showed that clear relationships between environmental and biotic factors and otolith microstructure were difficult to realise.

Reported by

CENTRE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, FISHERIES & AQUACULTURE SCIENCE
LOWESTOFT LABORATORY, PAKEFIELD ROAD
NR 33 0HT LOWESTOFT
United Kingdom
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