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Data from: Unravelling the life history of Amazonian fishes through otolith microchemistry


Hermann, Theodore W.; Stewart, Donald J.; Limburg, Karin E.; Castello, Leandro (2016), Data from: Unravelling the life history of Amazonian fishes through otolith microchemistry, Dryad, Dataset,


Amazonian fishes employ diverse migratory strategies, but the details of these behaviours remain poorly studied despite numerous environmental threats and heavy commercial exploitation of many species. Otolith microchemistry offers a practical, cost-effective means of studying fish life history in such a system. This study employed a multi-method, multi-elemental approach to elucidate the migrations of five Amazonian fishes: two ‘sedentary’ species (Arapaima sp. and Plagioscion squamosissimus), one ‘floodplain migrant’ (Prochilodus nigricans) and two long-distance migratory catfishes (Brachyplatystoma rousseauxii and B. filamentosum). The Sr : Ca and Zn : Ca patterns in Arapaima were consistent with its previously observed sedentary life history, whereas Sr : Ca and Mn : Ca indicated that Plagioscion may migrate among multiple, chemically distinct environments during different life-history stages. Mn : Ca was found to be potentially useful as a marker for identifying Prochilodus's transition from its nursery habitats into black water. Sr : Ca and Ba : Ca suggested that B. rousseauxii resided in the Amazon estuary for the first 1.5–2 years of life, shown by the simultaneous increase/decrease of otolith Sr : Ca/Ba : Ca, respectively. Our results further suggested that B. filamentosum did not enter the estuary during its life history. These results introduce what should be a productive line of research desperately needed to better understand the migrations of these unique and imperilled fishes.

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