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A first attempt at determining larval growth in three Antarctic fish from otoliths and RNA/DNA ratios

AuthorsMorales-Nin, Beatriz ; Palomera, Isabel ; Busquets, Xavier
Issue Date2002
CitationPolar Biology 25: 360- 365 (2002)
AbstractOtolith growth and RNA/DNA ratios of larval stages of Notolepis coatsi, Gobionotothen gibberifrons and Trematomus scotti, three Antarctic fish, were studied during early 1998. RNA/DNA ratios were significantly different between the notothenioids and paralepidids (P < 0.01), but similar among notothenioids (P > 0.05). The ratios were independent of larval total length and water temperature. Recent otolith growth (based on the last five increments) and biochemical indices correlated slightly, but not significantly. N. coatsi inhabited deeper and colder waters of the Weddell Sea and showed less growth than the other species, which are associated with the Antarctic Peninsula. In all three species, some larvae had very good growth rates though most were rather poor. Recent growth indices might allow the detection and back-dating of growth changes in Antarctic larvae, and provide insight into a crucial yet poorly understood life-phase of these fish.
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