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Stylet elemental signatures indicate population structure in a holobenthic octopus species, Octopus pallidus

Doubleday, ZA, Pecl, GT, Semmens, JM and Danyushevsky, LV 2008 , 'Stylet elemental signatures indicate population structure in a holobenthic octopus species, Octopus pallidus' , Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 371 , pp. 1-10 , doi:

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Targeted trace elemental analysis was
used to investigate the population structure and dispersal
patterns of the holobenthic octopus species Octopus
pallidus (Hoyle, 1885). Multi-elemental signatures
within the pre-hatch region of the stylet (an internal
‘shell’) were used to determine the common origins and
levels of connectivity of individuals collected from 5
locations in Tasmania. To determine whether hatchling
elemental signatures could be used as tags for natal origin,
hatchling stylets from 3 of the 5 locations were also
analysed. We analyzed 12 elements using laser ablation
inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LAICPMS).
Of the 12 elements, 7 were excellent spatial
discriminators. There was evidence of high-level structuring
with distinct groupings between all sites (the 2
closest being 85 km apart) within the adult O. pallidus
population, suggesting that all adults had hatched in or
near their respective collection sites. The hatchling signatures
showed significant spatial variation, and a high
percentage of individuals could successfully be traced
back to their collection locations. However, they could
not be used to trace adults back to their natal site, due
to significant differences in element concentrations in
hatchling and adult stylets, which was likely the result
of differences in Ca concentration. This study presents
the first insights into the population structure of a
holobenthic octopus species using stylet elemental
signatures, which will have important implications for
the sustainable management of O. pallidus.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Doubleday, ZA and Pecl, GT and Semmens, JM and Danyushevsky, LV
Keywords: Population structure · Octopus · Stylet elemental signatures · Laser ablation
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Ecology Progress Series
ISSN: 0171-8630
DOI / ID Number:
Additional Information:

© Inter-Research 2008

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