Marine Biology

, 165:119 | Cite as

Age estimation of the oyster Ostrea puelchana determined from the hinge internal growth pattern

  • M. S. DoldanEmail author
  • M. de Rafélis
  • M. A. Kroeck
  • M. S. Pascual
  • E. M. Morsan
Original paper


A multiproxy approach was used to analyse the internal growth pattern of Ostrea puelchana shells. Field investigations using fluorochrome stains were performed to estimate the deposition time of the lines of irregular growth. Cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy of the hinge area and isotopic composition analyses of shells were performed. The oxygen isotopic composition of the shells showed seasonal fluctuations across the hinge. The results of CL microscopy and stable isotopes provided the first age estimations for wild specimens of O. puelchana. The maximal age of analysed oysters was 4.5 years. Shell deposition occurred at temperatures above 11 °C approximately, suggesting growth slowdown and/or cessation in winter. Lines of irregular growth showed no consistent temporal pattern; these growth structures cannot be used as sclerochronological proxies of growth season or shell age. O. puelchana is sensitive to seasonal environmental changes, which cause changes in its carbonate structure, although the pattern is not consistent, as in other species. In this study, the age of O. puelchana specimens from San Matías Gulf, Patagonia, Argentina, was estimated, providing a basis for future studies on this species.



The calcein experiment was supported by projects PICT 2007-1338 and PICT 2006-1674 from Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Técnica, Argentina, and by projects M019 and M025 from Universidad Nacional del Comahue. We are grateful to CULMAR S.A. for allowing us to use the rack for the growing experiment. We offer our special thanks to Dr. Saba and UNPSJB-CENPAT at Puerto Madryn for the fluorescence microscope and also our special thanks to all colleagues at CRIAR (criadero) for their assistance with the lantern nets and tanks maintenance. MSD thanks M. Herrmann for staining advice and M. Brögger for calcein pictures. The present work was part of the PhD dissertation of MSD. Seawater samples for salinity measurement and in situ seawater temperature data were provided by the Programa de Monitoreo de calidad ambiental de las zonas de producción of CIMAS, Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería y Pesca of Provincia de Rio Negro, Argentina. CL and isotope analyses were performed at Laboratoire Biominéralisations et Environnements Sédimentaires de la Maître de Conférences Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. Doldan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • M. de Rafélis
    • 4
  • M. A. Kroeck
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. S. Pascual
    • 2
    • 3
  • E. M. Morsan
    • 3
  1. 1.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación Aplicada y Transferencia Tecnológica en Recursos Marinos “Almirante Storni” (CIMAS)Universidad Nacional del ComahueSan Antonio OesteArgentina
  3. 3.Escuela Superior de Ciencias MarinasUniversidad Nacional del ComahueSan Antonio OesteArgentina
  4. 4.Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier (UT 3)ToulouseFrance

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