Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 4, pp 1321–1330 | Cite as

Influence of temperature and salinity on the trace element incorporation into statoliths of the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis)

  • Karsten ZumholzEmail author
  • Thor H. Hansteen
  • Uwe Piatkowski
  • Peter L. Croot
Research Article


The use of statolith chemistry to trace migration pathways and distinguish populations of cephalopods is based on the assumption that the elemental composition of statoliths is influenced by physicochemical properties of the ambient environment. However, such influences have not been investigated experimentally up until now. This study presents the first microchemical analyses of cephalopod statoliths obtained from laboratory experiments under different controlled temperature and salinity conditions. Our results show that statolith chemical composition is strongly related to both salinity and temperature in ambient waters. The Ba/Ca ratio is negatively related to temperature and shows no relation to salinity. The I/Ca ratio is positively related to temperature and negatively to salinity. No Sr/Ca relation was found to either salinity or temperature, suggesting that the well-established proxy strontium is not as useful in cephalopod statoliths as in other biomineralized aragonites. Microanalysis of trace elements, however, shows an enormous potential for field studies on distribution, migration and stock separation of cephalopods. Furthermore, Synchrotron X-ray Fluorescence Analysis is introduced as a promising novel method for statolith analysis, providing a spatial resolution of typically 10–15 μm combined with detection limits down to 0.5 ppm.


Strontium Aragonite Fish Otolith Strontianite Japanese Common Squid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Thanks are due to Frank Lechtenberg for invaluable help with analytical and quantification procedures. Armelle Perrin and Juergen Beusen assisted in collecting Sepia eggs. The Kiel Aquarium team provided technical and logistical support during the experiments. This work was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG PI 203/11-1, HA 2100/9-1, PI 203/11-2, PI 203-3).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karsten Zumholz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thor H. Hansteen
    • 1
  • Uwe Piatkowski
    • 1
  • Peter L. Croot
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz - Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMARKielGermany

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