Asteriscus v. lapillus: comparing the chemistry of two otolith types and their ability to delineate riverine populations of common carpCyprinus carpio Academic Article uri icon


  • The chemical composition of common carp Cyprinus carpio asteriscus (vaterite) and lapillus (aragonite) otoliths from the same individual and reflecting the same growth period was measured to (1) determine whether there are differences in the uptake of trace metals (Mg:Ca, Mn:Ca, Sr:Ca and Ba:Ca ) and Sr isotope ratios ((87)Sr:(86)Sr) in co-precipitating lapilli and asterisci and (2) compare the ability of multi-element and isotopic signatures from lapilli, asterisci and both otolith types combined to discriminate C. carpio populations over a large spatial scale within a river basin. Depth profile analyses at the otolith edge using laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry showed that asterisci were enriched in Mg and Mn and depleted in Sr and Ba relative to lapilli, whilst (87)Sr:(86)Sr values were nearly identical in both otolith types. Significant spatial differences among capture locations were found when all trace element and Sr isotope ratio data were aggregated into a multi-element and isotopic signature, regardless of which otolith type was used or if they were used in combination. Discriminatory power was enhanced, however, when data for both otolith types were combined, suggesting that analysis of multiple otolith types may be useful for studies attempting to delineate C. carpio populations at finer spatial or temporal scales.

publication date

  • October 2012