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Effects of handling and storage methods on the concentrations of elements in deep‐water fish otoliths

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Sagittal otoliths of Coryphaenoides rupestris(roundnose grenadier), Helicolenus dactylopterus(bluemouth) and Merluccius merluccius(European hake) were collected using a variety of handling and storage treatments and their elemental composition was examined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Some differences between element concentrations were identified between the control and treatment groups, most notably for the element Li. For H. dactylopterus and M. merluccius, Li concentrations were significantly higher in the otoliths extracted with metal forceps and stored in paper envelopes (treatment), compared to those from the same fishes that had been extracted using plastic forceps and stored in polyethylene vials (control). Lower concentrations of Ba and Cr were found in M. merluccius otoliths extracted from fish that had been stored frozen. The presence or absence of elemental concentrations above the instrumental limits of detection was noted, but no significant differences were identified between otolith pairs for any of the treatments. The differences between otolith pairs attributable to storage and handling effects are small compared to between‐area differences.
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Keywords: Solution‐based ICP‐MS; otolith microchemistry

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Oban, Argyll, PA37 1QA, Scotland, U.K., 2: University of Liverpool, School of Biological Sciences, Port Erin Marine Laboratory, Port Erin, Isle of Man, U.K. and 3: CSIC-UIB Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avançats, Miguel Marqués 21, 07190 Esporles, Spain

Publication date: 01 March 2006

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