Marine Biology

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 235–248 | Cite as

Spatial variation of otolith elemental signatures among juvenile gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) inhabiting southern Florida waters

  • Monica R. LaraEmail author
  • David L. Jones
  • Zhongxing Chen
  • John T. Lamkin
  • Cynthia M. Jones
Research Article


Juvenile gray snapper, Lutjanus griseus, are believed to use bays and estuaries in southern Florida as nurseries before moving out to the adjoining reef tract as adults. Using high-resolution sector field-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (SF-ICP-MS), the elemental chemistry of the otoliths of juveniles from five nursery regions was resolved by establishing elemental “signatures” for each region. In this study we simultaneously analyzed 32 elements including a suite of rare earth elements. A stepwise variable selection procedure retained a subset of eight elements that contributed substantially to separating otolith samples, including two rare earth elements; this is one of the first studies in which rare earth elements in otoliths have contributed to separation of fish stocks. The classification success rate in assigning fishes to the correct region of origin was 82%. Resolution of sites less than 10 km apart suggested high site fidelity in juvenile gray snapper and little mixing of water masses between sites. The juvenile nursery signatures will be used to determine the relative contribution of different nurseries to the adult population on an adjoining reef tract.


Discriminant Function Analysis Otolith Microchemistry Randomization Iteration Gray Snapper Classification Success Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study is part of a larger study on otolith microchemistry and habitat use of snappers in southern Florida. This research was carried out under the auspices of the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), of the University of Miami under cooperative agreement #NA17RJ1226 with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Funding was provided by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. We thank the many people who helped in the field, especially Yesim Dodanli, Jennifer Hodge, Estrella Malca and Jose Morillo. The experiments described herein comply with the current laws of the United States of America.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica R. Lara
    • 1
    Email author
  • David L. Jones
    • 1
  • Zhongxing Chen
    • 2
  • John T. Lamkin
    • 3
  • Cynthia M. Jones
    • 4
  1. 1.Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries ServiceSoutheast Fisheries Science CenterMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Center for Quantitative Fisheries EcologyOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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