Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 297-306

First online:

Otolith size changes related with body growth, habitat depth and temperature

  • Antoni LombarteAffiliated withInstitut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC), Passeig Nacional s/n
  • , Jordi LleonartAffiliated withInstitut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC), Passeig Nacional s/n

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Size variation in the sagittal otoliths of six species of the genus Merluccius, and five species of the genus Coelorhynchus was compared, using a digital image processing system and multivariate analysis. It is proposed that otolith growth occurs under dual regulation, overall shape is regulated genetically, and otolith size is influenced by environmental conditions. The decline of temperature with increasing habitat depth seems to be an important factor regulating the growth of otoliths in carbonate-saturated levels. The relative growth of the otoliths is usually negatively allometric.


Coelorhynchus Merluccius Morphometry Fishes Gadiformes Allometry