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Comparing naturally occurring stable isotopes of nitrogen, carbon, and strontium as markers for the rearing locations of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

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We compared the success of using naturally occurring stable isotopes of N, C, and Sr as markers for the rearing locations of juvenile salmon. We analyzed the isotopic signatures (15N and 13C in muscle and scales and 87Sr/86Sr in otoliths) of >200 juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) from 12 tributaries of the Connecticut River, USA. Young salmon had distinct N and C signatures 5 weeks after stocking. Signatures were stable over the summer although 13C varied more than 15N or 87Sr/86Sr. Scale and muscle signatures were highly correlated, demonstrating the feasibility of nonlethal sampling using fish scales. Some C (but not N) signature from the hatchery was retained in scales of 3-month-old fish, implicating scale annuli as a repository for past C signatures. The 15N values successfully differentiated fish from tributaries with differences in land use (e.g., agricultural versus forested; ≍ 33% of sites); the 13C values differentiated fish from 45% of sites. Based upon a discriminant-function analysis, group membership of individuals was correctly predicted in 44.3% (74 of 167) of cases for which both N and C were analyzed. In combination, N and C isotopes differentiated 73% of study sites, which was close to the success of Sr isotopes in the same system (83%).

Nous avons comparé la performance des isotopes stables de N, C et Sr qui existent en nature comme marqueurs du lieu où se sont développés des jeunes saumons. Nous avons analysé les signatures isotopiques (15N et 13C dans le muscle et les écailles et 87Sr/86Sr dans les otolithes) chez >200 jeunes saumons atlantiques (Salmo salar) dans 12 tributaires du fleuve Connecticut, États-Unis. Les jeunes saumons possèdent des signatures N et C distinctes 5 semaines après l'empoissonnement. Les signatures demeurent stables au cours de l'été bien que 13C varie plus que 15N ou que 87Sr/86Sr. Il y a une forte corrélation entre les signatures du muscle et des écailles; il est donc possible de faire des prélèvements non létaux au moyen des écailles des poissons. Des vestiges de la signature de C (mais non de N) de la pisciculture persistent dans les écailles des poissons âgés de 3 mois; les annulus des écailles sont donc des points de rétentions des signatures antérieures de C. Les valeurs de 15N permettent de séparer avec succès des tributaires dans des zones d'utilisation des terres différentes (par exemple, les zones agricoles des zones forestières : ≍ 33 % des sites); 13C permet la reconnaissance de 45 % des sites. Une analyse des fonctions discriminantes permet de prédire correctement l'appartenance des individus à un groupe dans 44,3 % (74/167) des cas lorsque C et N ont été tous deux analysés. La combinaison des isotopes N et C permet de séparer 73 % des sites, ce qui s'approche de la performance des isotopes Sr dans le même système (83 %).[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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