Elemental analysis of vertebrae discerns diadromous movements of threatened non-marine elasmobranchs

Grant, Michael I., Kyne, Peter M., James, Julie, Hu, Yi, Mukherji, Sushmita, Amepou, Yolarnie, Baje, Leontine, Chin, Andrew, Johnson, Grant, Lee, Tegan, Mahan, Brandon, Wurster, Christopher, White, William T., and Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (2023) Elemental analysis of vertebrae discerns diadromous movements of threatened non-marine elasmobranchs. Journal of Fish Biology, 103 (6). pp. 1357-1373.

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River sharks (Glyphis spp.) and some sawfishes (Pristidae) inhabit riverine environments, although their long-term habitat use patterns are poorly known. We investigated the diadromous movements of the northern river shark (Glyphis garricki), speartooth shark (Glyphis glyphis), narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata), and largetooth sawfish (Pristis pristis) using in situ laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) on vertebrae to recover elemental ratios over each individual's lifetime. We also measured elemental ratios for the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) and a range of inshore and offshore stenohaline marine species to assist in interpretation of results. Barium (Ba) was found to be an effective indicator of freshwater use, whereas lithium (Li) and strontium (Sr) were effective indicators of marine water use. The relationships between Ba and Li and Ba and Sr were negatively correlated, whereas the relationship between Li and Sr was positively correlated. Both river shark species had elemental signatures indicative of prolonged use of upper-estuarine environments, whereas adults appear to mainly use lower-estuarine environments rather than marine environments. Decreases in Li:Ba and Sr:Ba at the end of the prenatal growth zone of P. pristis samples indicated that parturition likely occurs in fresh water. There was limited evidence of prolonged riverine habitat use for A. cuspidata. The results of this study support elemental–environment relationships observed in teleost otoliths and indicate that in situ LA-ICP-MS elemental characterization is applicable to a wide range of elasmobranch species as a discriminator for use and movement across salinity gradients. A greater understanding of processes that lead to element incorporation in vertebrae, and relative concentrations in vertebrae with respect to the ambient environment, will improve the applicability of elemental analysis to understand movements across the life history of elasmobranchs into the future.

Item ID: 80536
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8649
Keywords: habitat use, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, life history, microchemical analysis, river sharks, sawfish
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Fisheries Society of the British Isles. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2024 23:40
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 100%
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