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Non-lethal approach identifies variability of δ (15)N values in the fin rays of Atlantic Goliath Grouper, Epinephelus itajara.

Tzadik OE, Goddard EA, Hollander DJ, Koenig CC, Stallings CD - PeerJ (2015)

Bottom Line: Overall, differences were found between δ (15)N values at juvenile life history phases versus adult phases, but the patterns associated with these differences were unique to each coastal group.We demonstrated, for the first time, that δ (15)N values from fin rays can be used to assess the life histories of Atlantic Goliath Grouper.The non-lethal strategies outlined here can be used to acquire information essential to the management of species of concern, such as those that are threatened or endangered.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Marine Science, University of South Florida , St Petersburg, FL , USA.

ABSTRACT
The Atlantic Goliath Grouper, Epinephelus itajara, is critically endangered throughout its range but has begun to show initial signs of recovery in Florida state waters. As the population continues to rebound, researchers face a pressing need to fill the knowledge gaps about this iconic species. Here, we examined the δ (15)N isotopic records in fin rays collected from Atlantic Goliath Grouper, and related changes of isotopic ratios over time to life history characteristics. Fin-ray analysis was used as a non-lethal technique to sample individuals from two locations at similar latitudes from the west and east coasts of Florida, USA. δ (15)N data were acquired by mechanically separating the annuli of each fin ray and then analyzing the material in an Irradiance Elemental Analyzer Mass Spectrometer. The δ (15)N values were consistent among individuals within populations from each coast of Florida, and mirrored the expected changes over the lives of the fish. Overall, differences were found between δ (15)N values at juvenile life history phases versus adult phases, but the patterns associated with these differences were unique to each coastal group. We demonstrated, for the first time, that δ (15)N values from fin rays can be used to assess the life histories of Atlantic Goliath Grouper. The non-lethal strategies outlined here can be used to acquire information essential to the management of species of concern, such as those that are threatened or endangered.

No MeSH data available.


Sampling regions.Regions on the west and east coasts of Florida where Atlantic Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) were sampled (gray); mangroves are shown in black (Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 2013).
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fig-1: Sampling regions.Regions on the west and east coasts of Florida where Atlantic Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) were sampled (gray); mangroves are shown in black (Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 2013).

Mentions: We obtained samples of fin rays from adult Atlantic Goliath Grouper from mid-Peninsular regions of Florida on both the Gulf of Mexico (hereafter, “west coast fish”) and Atlantic Ocean sides (hereafter, “east coast fish”). West coast fish (n = 13) were acquired from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) when opportunistic “fish-kill” samples (e.g., red tide casualties, discard mortalities) were reported from May 2012 to September 2013 (Site 1, Fig. 1). East coast fish (n = 17) were collected at known spawning aggregation sites during spawning seasons (July–September) in 2012 and 2013 (Site 2, Fig. 1). All samples were obtained through the procedure approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), approval number 4193W. In addition, all field sampling was permitted on both the state (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, permit number SAL-13-1244A-SRP) and federal levels (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, permit number F/SER24:PH). Sites with elevated Atlantic Goliath Grouper abundances were chosen based on local knowledge and later confirmed by SCUBA surveys during the spawning season. Sites were typically artificial reefs (sunken wrecks) or natural ledges with high structural relief.


Non-lethal approach identifies variability of δ (15)N values in the fin rays of Atlantic Goliath Grouper, Epinephelus itajara.

Tzadik OE, Goddard EA, Hollander DJ, Koenig CC, Stallings CD - PeerJ (2015)

Sampling regions.Regions on the west and east coasts of Florida where Atlantic Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) were sampled (gray); mangroves are shown in black (Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 2013).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4465958&req=5

fig-1: Sampling regions.Regions on the west and east coasts of Florida where Atlantic Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) were sampled (gray); mangroves are shown in black (Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 2013).
Mentions: We obtained samples of fin rays from adult Atlantic Goliath Grouper from mid-Peninsular regions of Florida on both the Gulf of Mexico (hereafter, “west coast fish”) and Atlantic Ocean sides (hereafter, “east coast fish”). West coast fish (n = 13) were acquired from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) when opportunistic “fish-kill” samples (e.g., red tide casualties, discard mortalities) were reported from May 2012 to September 2013 (Site 1, Fig. 1). East coast fish (n = 17) were collected at known spawning aggregation sites during spawning seasons (July–September) in 2012 and 2013 (Site 2, Fig. 1). All samples were obtained through the procedure approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), approval number 4193W. In addition, all field sampling was permitted on both the state (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, permit number SAL-13-1244A-SRP) and federal levels (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, permit number F/SER24:PH). Sites with elevated Atlantic Goliath Grouper abundances were chosen based on local knowledge and later confirmed by SCUBA surveys during the spawning season. Sites were typically artificial reefs (sunken wrecks) or natural ledges with high structural relief.

Bottom Line: Overall, differences were found between δ (15)N values at juvenile life history phases versus adult phases, but the patterns associated with these differences were unique to each coastal group.We demonstrated, for the first time, that δ (15)N values from fin rays can be used to assess the life histories of Atlantic Goliath Grouper.The non-lethal strategies outlined here can be used to acquire information essential to the management of species of concern, such as those that are threatened or endangered.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Marine Science, University of South Florida , St Petersburg, FL , USA.

ABSTRACT
The Atlantic Goliath Grouper, Epinephelus itajara, is critically endangered throughout its range but has begun to show initial signs of recovery in Florida state waters. As the population continues to rebound, researchers face a pressing need to fill the knowledge gaps about this iconic species. Here, we examined the δ (15)N isotopic records in fin rays collected from Atlantic Goliath Grouper, and related changes of isotopic ratios over time to life history characteristics. Fin-ray analysis was used as a non-lethal technique to sample individuals from two locations at similar latitudes from the west and east coasts of Florida, USA. δ (15)N data were acquired by mechanically separating the annuli of each fin ray and then analyzing the material in an Irradiance Elemental Analyzer Mass Spectrometer. The δ (15)N values were consistent among individuals within populations from each coast of Florida, and mirrored the expected changes over the lives of the fish. Overall, differences were found between δ (15)N values at juvenile life history phases versus adult phases, but the patterns associated with these differences were unique to each coastal group. We demonstrated, for the first time, that δ (15)N values from fin rays can be used to assess the life histories of Atlantic Goliath Grouper. The non-lethal strategies outlined here can be used to acquire information essential to the management of species of concern, such as those that are threatened or endangered.

No MeSH data available.