Where do you come from, where do you go: early life stage drift and migrations of cod inferred from otolith microchemistry and genetic population assignment

Karin Hüssy, Christoffer Moesgaard Albertsen, Jakob Hemmer-Hansen, Morten Vinther, Simon Hansen Serre, Tonny Bernt Thomsen, Margit Eero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates stock mixing of genetically distinct Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) stocks in the Kattegat, an area geographically located between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, by combining genetic population identification with habitat assignments from hatch to capture from otolith microchemistry. Cod captured in Kattegat were genetically assigned to either the North Sea or the endemic Kattegat population. Otolith chemical fingerprints differed significantly between populations during the larval and pelagic juvenile stage with higher strontium and lower barium and manganese concentrations in the North Sea population than the Kattegat population, indicating that North Sea cod are spawned in the North Sea or Skagerrak and drift into the Kattegat during the early life stages. Individual cod of both populations undertook frequent, but predominantly short-term, migrations to other areas than the Kattegat, with <25% of individuals remaining resident within the Kattegat throughout their life. Across seasons and age classes, the two populations were both most frequently distributed in the Kattegat (67%), with approximately 25% of both population distributed in the western Baltic Sea and less than 10% in the Skagerrak–North Sea. This study demonstrates the usefulness of this approach to infer population-specific connectivity and migration trajectories for individual fish and its potential applications in basic and applied fields of fish ecology and fisheries sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-313
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources

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