The effects of temperature and water concentration on the otolith incorporation of barium and manganese in black rockfish Sebastes melanops
Observations of multiple years of geographic variation in [Ba:Ca]otolith and [Mn:Ca]otolith in black rockfish Sebastes melanops prompted this study to examine the effects of temperature and water concentration on the otolith incorporation of Ba and Mn in this wholly marine species. The replicated experiment design consisted of two water temperatures (7·4 and 13·0° C) and four water concentrations of Ba:Ca and Mn:Ca. A positive, linear relationship between [Ba:Ca]water and [Ba:Ca]otolith was observed at both temperatures. A positive temperature effect was also observed with mean partition coefficients for Ba (DBa) greater in the 13° C than in the 7·4° C treatments (mean = 0·061 and 0·048, respectively). There was no relationship between [Mn:Ca]water and [Mn:Ca]otolith although a negative temperature effect was observed. Mean partition coefficients for Mn (DMn) were lower in the 13° C than in the 7·4° C treatments (mean = 0·027 and 0·036, respectively). The data presented support the assumption of a positive, linear relationship between water and otolith Metal:Ca concentrations for Ba:Ca but not for Mn:Ca. Thus, although indicative of residence in distinct water masses, observed variation in [Metal:Ca]otolith may not reflect variation in water concentration and can be affected by temperature. Caution should be applied in the interpretation of geographic variation of [Mn:Ca]otolith until the mechanisms regulating its incorporation are more fully understood.
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