Strontium isotopes in otoliths of a non-migratory fish (slimy sculpin): Implications for provenance studies

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
By: , and 



Heterogeneity in 87Sr/86Sr ratios of river-dissolved strontium (Sr) across geologically diverse environments provides a useful tool for investigating provenance, connectivity and movement patterns of various organisms and materials. Evaluation of site-specific 87Sr/86Sr temporal variability throughout study regions is a prerequisite for provenance research, but the dynamics driving temporal variability are generally system-dependent and not accurately predictable. We used the time-keeping properties of otoliths from non-migratory slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus) to evaluate multi-scale 87Sr/86Sr temporal variability of river waters throughout the Nushagak River, a large (34,700 km2) remote watershed in Alaska, USA. Slimy sculpin otoliths incorporated site-specific temporal variation at sub-annual resolution and were able to record on the order of 0.0001 changes in the 87Sr/86Sr ratio. 87Sr/86Sr profiles of slimy sculpin collected in tributaries and main-stem channels of the upper watershed indicated that these regions were temporally stable, whereas the Lower Nushagak River exhibited some spatio-teporal variability. This study illustrates how the behavioral ecology of a non-migratory organism can be used to evaluate sub-annual 87Sr/86Sr temporal variability and has broad implications for provenance studies employing this tracer.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Strontium isotopes in otoliths of a non-migratory fish (slimy sculpin): Implications for provenance studies
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2014.10.032
Volume 149
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Geography
Description 14 p.
First page 32
Last page 45
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Nushagak River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N