The role of extrinsic variation-cohabiting juvenile fish species exhibit similar otolith elemental signatures

Leticia Maria Cavole*, Jessica A. Miller, Pelayo Salinas-de-León, Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, Jose R. Marin Jarrin, Andrew Frederick Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of extrinsic (environmentally based) and intrinsic (physiologically based) controls on otolith elemental signatures remains poorly understood. We evaluated the relative im-portance of both extrinsic and intrinsic factors using juvenile fish in Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) mangroves. To assess extrinsic influences, we compared the cohabiting yellow snapper Lutjanus argenti ventris and sailfin grouper Mycteroperca olfax from the Galapagos Archipelago. To evaluate intrinsic influences, we compared yellow snapper from the Gulf of California (Mexico) and the Galapagos Archipelago (Ecuador). The 2 cohabiting species in the Galapagos exhibited very similar otolith elemental signatures, with no significant differences observed for Li, Cu, Mg, Mn, Rb, and Sr (univariate ANOVAs, p 0.05), and a small separation achieved between these species (ANOSIM test, R = 0.01, p = 0.038). The yellow snappers from Galapagos and the Gulf of California exhibited distinct elemental signatures increasing from Rb, Cu, Mn, Sr, Li to Ba (univariate ANOVAs, p 0.05), with a large separation between them (ANOSIM test, R = 0.55, p = 0.001). The present study suggests that extrinsic factors (e.g. water chemistry, temperature, salinity) can be more important than intrinsic factors (e.g. physiology, growth rates, genetics) for influencing elemental uptake in the otoliths of juveniles from mangrove waters. However, improved understanding of factors influencing elemental incorporation is still needed to ensure accurate interpretation of field data, especially in dynamic oceanographic systems, which is the case for both the Gulf of California and the Galapagos Archipelago.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-125
Number of pages17
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2020


  • Eastern Tropical Pacific
  • Environmental effect
  • ETP
  • Lutjanus argentiventris
  • Mangrove
  • Mycteroperca olfax
  • Otolith microchemistry
  • Vital effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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