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Elemental fingerprints of southern calamary (Sepioteuthis australis) reveal local recruitment sources and allow assessment of the importance of closed areas

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Movement of individuals over a range of temporal and spatial scales is a critical process in determining the structure and size of populations. For most marine species, a substantial amount of movement that is responsible for connecting subpopulations occurs when individuals are too small and numerous to be tagged using conventional methods. Using the elemental fingerprints of the statoliths of the squid Sepioteuthis australis and a robust machine learning classification technique, this study determined that newly hatched squid had elemental signatures that exhibited sufficient spatial variation to act as natural tags for natal origin and that elemental signatures can be used to allocate adult squid back to their natal site. Between 55% and 84% of the adult squid caught throughout the east and southeast of Tasmania, Australia, were classified back to an area that is closed to commercial fishing over much of the peak spawning period, and this was the only location with substantive evidence of natal recruitment. Although many studies have demonstrated the potential of this approach to discern connectivity between population units, few studies have successfully done so by then examining the trace element profiles of adults in addition to those of hatchlings as we have demonstrated with S. australis.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/f2011-059

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 49, Tasmania, Australia 7001. 2: Centre for Ore Deposit Research, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 79, Tasmania, Australia 7001. 3: School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 37, Tasmania, Australia 7001. 4: National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 1370, Tasmania, Australia 7250.

Publication date: August 23, 2011

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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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