ICES Journal of Marine Science
In fish that are not bilaterally symmetrical, the left and right sagittae are often not symmetrical, exhibiting divergent growth patterns and mass, and may have differences in chemical composition. We investigated this in the asymmetrical summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus, collected from different nursery habitats along the US east coast. Significant differences were detected in otolith mass, δ13C, δ18O, Li:Ca, Mg:Ca, and Sr:Ca, and overall chemical signatures. These results refute the hypothesis of left-right equivalence that is prevalent for bilaterally symmetrical fishes. We tested whether a specific side was better suited for classification. The best models differed between sagittae and resulted in different classification accuracies. The left otolith produced better classification accuracies. Simulated samples of randomized sets of left or right otoliths produced mean accuracies intermediate to classification and were often highly variable. We recommend that future otolith chemistry studies involving bilaterally asymmetrical species test the hypothesis of equivalence within the sagittae before randomly choosing an otolith for chemical analyses.
Original Publication Citation
Kajajian, A., Schaffler, J. J., & Jones, C. M. (2014). Lack of equivalence in the elemental and stable isotope chemistry within the sagittal otolith pair of the summer flounder, paralichthys dentatus. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 71(2), 356-364. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst145
Kajajian, Antranik; Schaffler, Jason J.; and Jones, Cynthia M., "Lack of Equivalence in the Elemental and Stable Isotope Chemistry Within the Sagittal Otolith Pair of the Summer Flounder, Paralichthys dentatus" (2014). OEAS Faculty Publications. 287.