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Saccular otolith mass asymmetry in adult flatfishes

AuthorsLychakov, D.V.; Rebane, Y.T.; Lombarte, Antoni ; Demestre, Montserrat ; Fuiman, L.A.
Mathematical modelling
Saccular otolith
Issue Date2008
PublisherFisheries Society of the British Isles
CitationJournal of Fish Biology 72(10): 2579–2594 (2008)
AbstractA dimensionless measure of otolith mass asymmetry, χ, was calculated as the difference between the masses of the right and left paired otoliths divided by average otolith mass. Saccular otolith mass asymmetry was studied in eight flatfish species (110 otolith pairs) and compared with data from a previously published study on roundfishes. As in the case of symmetrical fishes, the absolute value of χ in flatfishes does not depend on fish length and otolith growth rate, although otolith mass and the absolute value of otolith mass difference are correlated with fish length. The values of χ were between -0.2 and +0.2 in 96.4% of flatfishes studied. The mean ± S.E. value of χ in flatfishes was significantly larger than in standard bilaterally symmetrical marine fishes (‘roundfishes’), respectively 0.070 ± 0.006 and 0.040 ± 0.006. The most prominent distinction is the existence of downside prevalence of saccular otolith mass in flatfishes, which contrasts with no right–left prevalence in roundfishes found in a previous study. In the righteyed flatfishes (Soleidae), the left saccular otoliths are heavier than the right otoliths. In the lefteyed flatfishes (Bothidae and Citharidae), the right saccular otoliths are heavier than the left otoliths. Not all flatfishes, however, fit in this design: 11.8% of flatfishes studied had the heavier saccular otoliths in the upside labyrinth and 5.4% of flatfishes had no otolith mass asymmetry (within the accuracy of the analysis). At the same time, the more mobile flatfishes (bothids and citharids) have more symmetrical and, hence, more precisely organized saccular otolith organs than the bottom-associated flatfishes (soleids). It is possible to assume that the value of the otolith asymmetry is not only correlated with flatfish placement in a particular family, or position of eyes, but also may correlate with general aspects of their ecology. Mathematical modelling indicated that for most flatfishes one-side saccular prevalence had no substantial significance for sound processing. On the other hand, calculations showed that 49% of flatfishes (but only 14.5% of roundfishes) have |χ| which exceed the critical level and, in principle, could sense the difference between the static displacement of the large and small paired otoliths. At that, the number of the soleids that could sense this difference is greater than the number of the bothids and citharids, 84 and 27%, respectively.
Description16 pages, 6 figures, 1 table
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2008.01869.x
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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