Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 5, pp 927–933 | Cite as

Dietary effects on multi-element composition of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) otoliths

  • Lasse MarohnEmail author
  • Enno Prigge
  • Karsten Zumholz
  • Andreas Klügel
  • Heike Anders
  • Reinhold Hanel
Original Paper


Otolith microchemistry is widely used as a tool to track individual migration pathways of diadromous fish under the assumption that the elemental composition of fish otoliths is directly influenced by the physicochemical properties of the surrounding water. Nevertheless, several endogenous factors are reported to affect element incorporation into fish otoliths and might lead to misinterpretations of migration studies. This study experimentally examined the influence of eight different diets on the microchemical composition of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) otoliths using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Seven natural prey types and one artificial diet were fed during 8 weeks in freshwater circuits. Results show for the first time that food has no significant influence on the incorporation of Na, Sr, Ba, Mg, Mn, Cu and Y into European eel otoliths. This indicates that the incorporation of elements usually chosen for migration studies is not affected by diet and that individual feeding behaviour of A. anguilla will not lead to any misinterpretation of migration pathways.


Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry Aragonite 86Sr Vaterite Laser Ablation Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry 
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.



We thank Andrea Frommel for otolith preparation and proof-reading and Silvana Hessler and Martin Kölling for ICP-AES analyses. We are also grateful to Michael Gruber and Ralf Traulsen from Kiel Aquarium for cooperation and advice. This study was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMELV) through the project “Habitat selection of the European eel” (04HS065).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lasse Marohn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Enno Prigge
    • 1
  • Karsten Zumholz
    • 1
    • 3
  • Andreas Klügel
    • 2
  • Heike Anders
    • 2
  • Reinhold Hanel
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Leibniz-Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMARKielGermany
  2. 2.Universität BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.Landwirtschaftsschule Rendsburg FischereischuleOsterrönfeldGermany
  4. 4.Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, Institute of Fishery EcologyHamburgGermany

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