Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 455–461 | Cite as

Preliminary investigation on otolith microchemistry of naked carp (Gymnocypris przewalskii) in Lake Qinghai, China



The paper represents the first otolith study on trace element (Sr, Mg) concentrations of naked carp (Gymnocypris przewalskii), an endemic and endangered migratory species in high-altitude Lake Qinghai and its tributaries of China, using electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). Results from life-history transect analyses and X-ray intensity maps suggested that the general reference criterion for discrimination of the salinity habitats of freshwater, brackish and seawater by the otolith Sr:Ca ratio of diadromous fish cannot be used as a reliable indicator for reconstructing the migration history of naked carp between different habitats. On the contrary, Mg concentrations and Mg:Ca ratios were found inconsistent in all otolith samples of G. przewalskii. The otolith regions with higher Mg concentrations (greenish) might coincide with the period that yolk provides nutrition to G. przewalskii. The lower Mg:Ca ratios in most regions of otolith showed that Mg in G. przewalskii might be regulated to that low level during its lifespan in Lake Qinghai. This suggests that the distinct EPMA approach can provide new visualization insight into the ontogenetic and migration patterns of G. przewalskii.


Electron probe microanalysis Strontium Calcium Magnesium Migration 



The authors would like to thank Athanassios E Tyrpenou for critically reading the manuscript. This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30871920), and Special Research Fund for the National Non-profit Institutes of China (2012A0201)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Ecological Environment and Resources of Inland Fisheries, Freshwater Fisheries Research CenterChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesWuxiChina
  2. 2.College of Fisheries and Life ScienceShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Pearl River Fishery Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesGuangzhouChina

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