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

Ashworth, E.C., Hall, N.G., Hesp, S.A., Coulson, P.G. and Potter, I.C. (2017) Age and growth rate variation influence the functional relationship between somatic and otolith size. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 74 (5). pp. 680-692.

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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.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: NRC Research Press
Copyright: (c) The Authors
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