Whole otolith elemental analysis reveals feeding migration patterns causing growth rate differences in anadromous whitefish from the Baltic Sea

A1 Journal article (refereed)


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: Henry Hägerstrand, Yvette Heimbrand, Mikael von Numers, Jan-Olof Lill, Erkki Jokikokko, Alpo Huhmarniemi
Publisher: Wiley and Sons
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Journal acronym: Ecol Freshw Fish
Volume number: 26
Start page: 456
End page: 461
eISSN: 1600-0633


Abstract

Impact of feeding migration pattern on growth rate of whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus L.) from River Kemijoki was investigated. River Kemijoki is located in the northernmost Gulf of Bothnia (Baltic Sea). Whitefish ascending the river to spawn show major growth rate variations. To study whether these variations are related to different feeding areas (migratory connectivity), whole otoliths from fast-growing (FASTG) whitefish (n = 9, age 4 years, average weight 790 g) and slowly growing (SLOWLYG) whitefish (n = 9, age 8 years, average weight 600 g) were analysed for elemental (Ba, Sr, Mg, Zn, Mn, Ca) concentrations by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. Results showed that the FASTG whitefish had much lower otolith Ba concentration (~45%, p ≤ .01) than SLOWLYG whitefish, revealing that FASTG whitefish have spent more time in water of higher salinity/lower latitude, that is at feeding grounds in the southern Gulf of Bothnia. Otoliths of the FASTG whitefish had also higher Mg (~25%, p ≤ .001) and Zn (~20%, p ≤ .05) concentrations, but lower Ca (~5%, p ≤ .01) concentrations, than the otoliths from SLOWLYG whitefish. These results further reveal that FASTG and SLOWLYG whitefish have been spatially separated. In conclusion, bulk otolith elemental analysis revealed spatial separation and migration differences in river-spawning whitefish subpopulations in the Gulf of Bothnia, which apparently lead to differences in fish growth rate. Our results increase the understanding of river-spawning whitefish biology and its population structure and dynamics and may contribute to a sustainable management of river-spawning whitefish stocks.


Keywords

Fish otolith, migratory connectivity, otolith elemental composition, otolith strontium, somatic growth, Whitefish

Last updated on 2019-17-06 at 06:20