The record of daily growth in otoliths of Atlantic silversides, Menidia menidia, from field and laboratory

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Otoliths were removed from field‐collected silversides of age less than 3 months. Otolith diameter was highly correlated with total length of the fish. Daily growth ring counts for this species are known to be a function of age rather than size, so widths for the daily growth rings provide a record of daily increases in length of the fish. Measurement of ring widths showed that weekly specific growth rate was greater than 70% at age 1 week, but declined to about 30% at age 1 month and about 15% at age 2 months. A laboratory experiment in which temperature was changed on a weekly basis demonstrated that environmental variables can affect the width of rings. Nevertheless, the growth rate of field‐collected fish, as calculated from otolith ring widths, was more highly correlated with size of fish, as measured by otolith radius, than with the environmental variables of temperature, salinity and plankton abundance. Back‐calculation of growth rates from otolith ring widths of five fish collected at the end of the growing season yielded the same age‐growth curves as were obtained from 203 fish collected biweekly during the season. Copyright © 1987, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Fish Biology