SREL Reprint #2106




Predictive Model of Otolith Growth in Fish Based on the Chemistry of the Endolymph

C.S. Romanek and R.W. Gauldie1

Advanced Analytical Center for Environmental Sciences at Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, University of Georgia, Aiken, SC 29802.
1Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean Earth Sciences and Technology, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822.

A growth model, based on the precipitation kinetics of aragonite and the chemistry of fluids within the endolymphatic sac of fish, predicts upper and lower boundaries for the width of daily microincrements in the otolith. Observations of daily microincrement width fall within these bounds. Further, observed habitat temperatures are similar to those predicted by the model. These results suggest that endolymphatic fluid has a relatively simple chemistry that lacks crystal growth inhibitors. When used in conjunction with measurements of otolith size and microincrement width, the model can be used to constrain the age of fish and provide estimates for the water temperature that fish experience in the course of their lives.

KEY WORDS: Fish, otolith, daily microincrement, growth rate, pH, temperature, aragonite chemistry


SREL Reprint #2106

Romanek, C.S. and R.W. Gauldie. 1996. A predictive model of otolith growth in fish based on the chemistry of the endolymph. Comparative Biochemical Physiology 114A:71-79.


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