Fisheries Research Articles

Age and growth rate variation influence the functional relationship between somatic and otolith size

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Journal Title

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences


Print: 0706-652X Electronic: 1205-7533


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Marine Biology


Curves describing the length–otolith size relationships for juveniles and adults of six fish species with widely differing biological characteristics were fitted simultaneously to fish length and otolith size at age, assuming that deviations from those curves are correlated rather than independent. The trajectories of the somatic and otolith growth curves throughout life, which reflect changing ratios of somatic to otolith growth rates, varied markedly among species and resulted in differing trends in the relationships formed between fish and otolith size. Correlations between deviations from predicted values were always positive. Dependence of length on otolith growth rate (i.e., “growth effect”) and “correlated errors in variables” introduce bias into parameter estimates obtained from regressions describing the allometric relationships between fish lengths and otolith sizes. The approach taken in this study to describe somatic and otolith growth accounted for both of these effects and that of age to produce more reliable determinations of the length–otolith size relationships used for back-calculation and assumed when drawing inferences from sclerochronological studies.



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