Daily Otolith Increments in the Early Stages of Tropical Fish

  • Su Sponaugle
Part of the Reviews: Methods and Technologies in Fish Biology and Fisheries book series (REME, volume 11)


Our understanding of the ecological dynamics of early life stages of marine fish has frequently been referred to as the great unknown “black box” (Sale 1980). Fortunately, however, Pannella’s (1971) discovery several decades ago that the otoliths of marine fish record age and growth information on a daily basis provided a critical tool for us to begin propping open the box lid. Increasing research and much technological advancement since then have enabled scientists to obtain accurate and detailed measurements of multiple early life history traits from the otoliths of young fish. Use of the wealth of data contained in the microstructure of fish otoliths is one of the most significant advantages that studies of fish populations have over similar studies of invertebrates. Age data from individuals can be used to examine patterns of larval dispersal, recruitment dynamics, early growth and survivorship, and selective mortality in addition to the more familiar age-specific growth rates.


Reef Fish Coral Reef Fish Daily Increment Pelagic Larval Duration Otolith Increment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Su Sponaugle
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biology and Fisheries, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

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