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Using tree-ring crossdating techniques to validate annual growth increments in long-lived fishes

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We applied crossdating, a dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis) age validation technique, to growth increment widths of 50 Sebastes diploproa otoliths ranging from 30 to 84 years in age. Synchronous growth patterns were matched by the following: (i) checking the dates of conspicuously narrow growth increments for agreement among samples and (ii) statistically verifying that growth patterns correlated among samples. To statistically verify pattern matching, we fit each time series of otolith measurements with a spline, and all measurements were divided by the values predicted by the curve. This standardized each time series to a mean of 1, removing the effects of age on growth and homogenizing variance. Each time series was then correlated with the average growth patterns of all other series, yielding an average correlation coefficient (r) of 0.53. Average growth of all 50 samples was significantly correlated with an upwelling index (r = 0.40, p = 0.002), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (r = –0.29, p = 0.007), and the Northern Oscillation Index (r = 0.51, p = 0.0001), corroborating accuracy. We believe this approach to age validation will be applicable to a wide range of long-lived marine and freshwater species.

Nous avons utilisé la datation croisée, une technique de validation de l’âge en dendrochronologie (analyse des anneaux des arbres), pour étudier les largeurs des incréments de croissance des otolithes de 50 Sebastes diploproa, âgés de 30 à 84 ans. Les patrons de croissance synchronisée ont été corroborés (i) en nous assurant que les dates d’incréments particulièrement étroits correspondent dans les échantillons et (ii) en vérifiant statistiquement que les patrons de croissance sont en corrélation dans les différents échantillons. Pour vérifier statistiquement la correspondance des patrons, chaque série chronologique de mesures d’otolithes est ajustée à une spline et toutes les mesures sont divisées par les valeurs prédites par la courbe. Cette opération standardise chaque série chronologique autour d’une moyenne de 1, éliminant les effets de l’âge sur la croissance et rendant la variance homogène. Chaque série chronologique est alors mise en corrélation avec le patron de croissance moyen des autres séries, ce qui génère un coefficient de corrélation (r) moyen de 0,53. La croissance moyenne de l’ensemble des 50 échantillons est en corrélation significative avec l’indice d’affleurement (upwelling) (r = 0,40, p = 0,002), l’oscillation décennale du Pacifique (r = –0,29, p = 0,007) et l’indice d’oscillation boréale (r = 0,51,p = 0,0001), ce qui confirme sa précision. Nous croyons que cette méthode de validation de l’âge pourra s’appliquer à une variété d’espèces de mer et d’eau douce à grande longévité.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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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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