Teleost and elasmobranch eye lenses as a target for life-history stable isotope analyses

Quaeck-Davies, K., Bendall, V. A., MacKenzie, K. M., Hetherington, S., Newton, J. and Trueman, C. N. (2018) Teleost and elasmobranch eye lenses as a target for life-history stable isotope analyses. PeerJ, 6, e4883. (doi: 10.7717/peerj.4883) (PMID:29888128) (PMCID:PMC5991300)

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Incrementally grown, metabolically inert tissues such as fish otoliths provide biochemical records that can used to infer behavior and physiology throughout the lifetime of the individual. Organic tissues are particularly useful as the stable isotope composition of the organic component can provide information about diet, trophic level and location. Unfortunately, inert, incrementally grown organic tissues are relatively uncommon. The vertebrate eye lens, however, is formed via sequential deposition of protein-filled fiber cells, which are subsequently metabolically inert. Lenses therefore have the potential to serve as biochemical data recorders capturing life-long variations in dietary and spatial ecology. Here we review the state of knowledge regarding the structure and formation of fish eye lenses in the context of using lens tissue for retrospective isotopic analysis. We discuss the relationship between eye lens diameter and body size, describe the successful recovery of expected isotopic gradients throughout ontogeny and between species, and quantify the isotopic offset between lens protein and white muscle tissue. We show that fish eye lens protein is an attractive host for recovery of stable isotope life histories, particularly for juvenile life stages, and especially in elasmobranchs lacking otoliths, but interpretation of lens-based records is complicated by species-specific uncertainties associated with lens growth rates.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study forms part of Katie Quaeck-Davies’ PhD studies, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquatic Science (Cefas) (Cefas Seedcorn Number DP308, ‘‘Novel Utilisation of elasmobranch biomaterials’’). Biological sampling was supported by Defra funded contracts: MB5201 National Evaluation of Populations of Threatened and Uncertain Elasmobranch Stocks (NEPTUNE). MF047 Fisheries Science Partnership 2011–2012: Spurdog, porbeagle and common skate bycatch and discard reduction, and by the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO) and vessels supporting the above programmes within the South West commercial net fisheries. Stable isotope analyses were additionally supported by NERC LSMSF grants EK241-12/14 and EK254-09/15.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Newton, Dr Jason
Authors: Quaeck-Davies, K., Bendall, V. A., MacKenzie, K. M., Hetherington, S., Newton, J., and Trueman, C. N.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:PeerJ
ISSN (Online):2167-8359
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in PeerJ 6:e4883
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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