Longevity in maternal transmission of isotopic marks in a tropical freshwater rainbowfish and the implications for offspring morphology

Starrs, D., Ebner, B.C., Eggins, S.M., and Fulton, C.J. (2014) Longevity in maternal transmission of isotopic marks in a tropical freshwater rainbowfish and the implications for offspring morphology. Marine and Freshwater Research, 65 (5). pp. 400-408.

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Abstract

Transgenerational marking is increasingly being used to study the early life history, biology and ecology of fishes. However, the timeframe over which the injected enriched stable isotopes remain in the mother and are passed onto her offspring is largely unknown. Similarly, we have relatively little knowledge of the effects of isotope labelling on the morphology of offspring. In this study, we injected adult female eastern rainbowfish (Melanotaenia splendida) with two doses (20 μgg -1 and 40 μgg -1) of enriched 137Ba or 87Sr stable isotopes to mark the otoliths of their larvae and examine the effects of isotope labelling on larvae morphology. Isotope ratios in larval otoliths were significantly different from controls in larvae hatched up to 174 days post-injection, indicating that enriched isotopes can mark the larvae of this daily spawning species up to 6 months after a single injection. Isotope-marked larvae displayed variable, but generally increased physical size, indicating that enriched stable isotope labelling may have some unintended effects on larvae morphology. Consequently, transgenerational marking provides a long-term tool for marking the offspring of M. splendida to disentangle their patterns of survivorship and dispersal, with the caveat that such studies should be interpreted in light of potential isotope-related changes in offspring morphology.

Item ID: 35435
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: early life history, fitness, LA-ICPMS, mark–recapture, Melanotaenidae
ISSN: 1448-6059
Funders: Australian Society for Fish Biology, Linnaean Society of New South Wales, Wet Tropics Management Authority
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2014 05:01
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960913 Water Allocation and Quantification @ 50%
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