Report of the Workshop on Growth-increment Chronologies in Marine Fish: climate-ecosystem interactions in the North Atlantic 2 (WKGIC2). 18-22 April 2016 Esporles, Mallorca, Spain

Type Expertise
Date 2016
Language English
Ref. ICES CM 2016/SSGIEOM:18
Other localization
Author(s) ICES
Contributor(s) De Pontual HeleneORCID, Mahe KeligORCID
Sponsor ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea)
Abstract Over the past several decades, thousands of otoliths, bivalve shells, and scales have been collected for the purposes of age determination and remain archived in European and North American fisheries laboratories. Advances in digital imaging and computer software combined with techniques developed by tree-ring scientists provide a means by which to extract additional levels of information in these calcified structures and generate annually resolved (one value per year), multidecadal time-series of population-level growth anomalies. Chemical and isotopic properties may also be extracted to provide additional information regarding the environmental conditions these organisms experienced.Given that they are exactly placed in time, chronologies can be directly compared to instrumental climate records, chronologies from other regions or species, or time-seriesof other biological phenomena. In this way, chronologies may be used to reconstruct historical ranges of environmental variability, identify climatic drivers of growth, establish linkages within and among species, and generate ecosystem-level indicators. Following the first workshop in Hamburg, Germany, in December 2014, the second workshop on Growth increment Chronologies in Marine Fish: climate-ecosystem interactions in the North Atlantic (WKGIC2) met at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies headquarters in Esporles, Spain, on 18–22 April 2016, chaired by Bryan Black (USA) and Christoph Stransky (Germany).Thirty-six participants from fifteen different countries attended. Objectives were to i) review the applications of chronologies developed from growth-increment widths in the hard parts (otoliths, shells, scales) of marine fish and bivalve species ii) review the fundamentals of crossdating and chronology development, iii) discuss assumptions and limitations of these approaches, iv) measure otolith growth-increment widths in image analysis software, v) learn software to statistically check increment dating accuracy, vi) generate a growth increment chronology and relate it to climate indices, and vii) initiate cooperative projects or training exercises to commence after the workshop.The workshop began with an overview of tree-ring techniques of chronology development, including a hands-on exercise in cross dating. Next, we discussed the applications of fish and bivalve biochronologies and the range of issues that could be addressed. We then reviewed key assumptions and limitations, especially those associated with short-lived species for which there are numerous and extensive otolith archives in European fisheries labs. Next, participants were provided with images of European plaice otoliths from the North Sea and taught to measure increment widths in image analysis software. Upon completion of measurements, techniques of chronology development were discussed and contrasted to those that have been applied for long-lived species. Plaice growth time-series were then related to environmental variability using the KNMI Climate Explorer. Finally, potential future collaborations and funding opportunities were discussed, and there was a clear desire to meet again to compare various statistical techniques for chronology development using a range existing fish, bivalve, and tree growth-increment datasets. Overall, we hope to increase the use of these techniques, and over the long term, develop networks of biochronologies for integrative analyses of ecosystem functioning and relationships to long-term climate variability and fishing pressure.
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ICES (2016). Report of the Workshop on Growth-increment Chronologies in Marine Fish: climate-ecosystem interactions in the North Atlantic 2 (WKGIC2). 18-22 April 2016 Esporles, Mallorca, Spain. ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea), Ref. ICES CM 2016/SSGIEOM:18, 18p.