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Using stylet elemental signatures to determine the population structure of Octopus maorum

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Doubleday, ZA, Pecl, GT, Semmens, JM and Danyushevsky, LV 2008 , 'Using stylet elemental signatures to determine the population structure of Octopus maorum' , Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 360 , pp. 125-133 , doi: 10.3354/meps07389.

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Abstract

A novel method was used to investigate the population structure and dispersal patterns
of Octopus maorum, an octopus species with a planktonic larval stage, which forms a distinct and
large aggregation in southeast Tasmania. Single and multi-elemental signatures within the ‘early life
history’ region of the stylet (an internal ‘shell’) were used to determine levels of connectivity and the
common origins of individuals collected from 5 locations across Tasmania, South Australia and New
Zealand. Using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA ICPMS) the stylets
were analysed for 12 elements, 8 of which were found to be excellent spatial discriminators. There
was evidence of population structuring within the O. maorum population, with a distinct separation
of the aggregation site in southeast Tasmania from other groups. Octopuses from the aggregation
shared a common origin and appeared to be coming from a local neighbouring source. The 2 northern
sample locations shared a similar elemental signature, which could be due to either similar water
chemistries or long-distance dispersal. This study presents the first insights into the population structure
of O. maorum, and provides vital information for the sustainable management of this species.
Furthermore, this technique will have direct application to other more heavily fished octopus species
around the world.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Doubleday, ZA and Pecl, GT and Semmens, JM and Danyushevsky, LV
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Ecology Progress Series
ISSN: Print 0171-8630 Online 1616-1599
DOI / ID Number: 10.3354/meps07389
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