OTOLITH MICROCHEMISTRY INDICATES UNEXPECTED PATTERNS OF RESIDENCY AND ANADROMY IN BLUEBACK HERRING, ALOSA AESTIVALIS, IN THE HUDSON AND MOHAWK RIVERS.
Blueback herring is an anadromous fish endemic in the tidal Hudson River Estuary, USA. Twentieth-century improvements to a lock and canal system permitted the species to invade the Hudson’s main tributary, the Mohawk River, where it has been recorded since the 1930s. Moving westward over time, individuals were collected in Lake Ontario, approx. 275 km west of the Hudson, in 1997. However, the actual status (resident or marine anadromous) of adults there or in the Mohawk has not been determined. We collected adult blueback herring in the spring 1999 spawning run and analyzed their otoliths’ elemental composition with both electron (WDS) and nuclear (mu PIXE) microprobes. We measured strontium:calcium ratios along « life-history transects » (WDS) and mapped entire otoliths (mu PIXE), providing a detailed time series of data on the Sr:Ca, and thus habitat use history, of the fish. We also analyzed otoliths of Mohawk and Hudson River young-of-year (YOY). The Sr:Ca ratios of Mohawk YOY are slightly but significantly higher than those of Hudson YOY. Life history transects for 51 adults show complex patterns of Sr:Ca, indicating that many of the fish move into salt water at least for brief periods. However, many fish appear to spend extended parts of their post-YOY lives in fresh water, and at least two adults (caught in the Mohawk near Rome, NY) appear never to have changed habitats at all. This is thus the first demonstration of residency in Mohawk River herring.
Auteurs du document :
K. E. LIMBURG, I. BLACKBURN, R. SCHMIDT, T. LAKE, J. HASSE, M. ELFMAN, P. KRISTIANSSON
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Mots clés :
Alosa aestivalis, landlocking, otolith microchemistry, environmental history, Alosa aestivalis, sédentarité en eau douce, microchimie des otolithes, histoire environnementale