Marine Biology

, Volume 147, Issue 6, pp 1419–1423 | Cite as

Otolith size-at-hatch reveals embryonic oxygen consumption in the zebrafish, Danio rerio

  • A. Bang
  • P. GrønkjærEmail author
Research Article


Otoliths have frequently been used to reconstruct growth histories in larval, juvenile and adult fish. However, there is growing evidence that otolith growth is directly determined by metabolic intensity and, consequently, only indirectly related to somatic growth. By performing measurements of oxygen consumption rate and other early life-history traits on individual eggs of zebrafish (Danio rerio), we found that oxygen consumption explained residual variance in otolith size that is not accounted for by egg size. Total oxygen consumption during the embryonic stage explained 34% of the variance in sagitta size at hatch, whereas larval size at hatch (as a proxy for growth during the embryonic period) was not significantly correlated with sagitta size. This strongly suggests that otolith growth is directly related to metabolic rate, and yields a mechanism that may explain recent observations of a link between otolith size at hatch and viability in larval fish.


Oxygen Consumption Somatic Growth Embryonic Period Otolith Growth Larval Length 
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.



The project was supported by a grant from Elisabeth and Knud Petersens Foundation and by the SLIP research school under the Danish Network for Fisheries and Aquaculture Research financed by the Danish Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and the Danish Agricultural and Veterinary Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine Ecology, Institute of Biological SciencesUniversity of AarhusAarhus NDenmark

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