Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

From the geochemistry of coral reef fish otoliths to climate : what can we learn from the example of Taiaro lagoon ?

Abstract : The analysis of the C-O stable isotope composition of coral reef fish otoliths from Taiaro, a French Polynesian atoll normally isolated from the Pacific Ocean, has been performed to address two main questions. The first is to confirm previous results which suggest that a lagoonal coral reef fish population is able to achieve its ontogenetic cycle without any open ocean phase. If so, are O isotopic values of otoliths an indicator of temperature fluctuations in the tropical Pacific Ocean related to climate change and in particular temperature variations of water masses? δ18O and δ13C values on both lagoon and open ocean fish otoliths caught in 2006 indicated clearly that O-isotopes reached the isotopic equilibrium; in contrast, all δ13C values exhibited a strong isotopic disequilibrium related to metabolic activity. Stable isotope compositions revealed a clear differentiation between fish from lagoons and those from the open ocean (with a δ18O enrichment of 1 ‰ in favour of the lagoon). This confirmed a lack of connectivity between habitats and that fish from lagoon lived their entire life cycle in the lagoon. Both δ18O and δ13C data indicated differences between nucleus and edge signatures with changes in fish behavior from the larval life to adulthood (habitat, diet, etc.), and a clear adaptation of dietary behavior of lagoon fish. The comparison of the 2006 data set with those of 1994 showed that environmental conditions were stable in the lagoon, leading to a very narrow range of variations in the δ18O values. δ18O of fish otoliths of the open ocean exhibited a wider variation (+0.25 ‰) between 1994 and 2006, suggesting a decrease in temperature linked to a change of SST, which can be interpreted in terms of climate change associated with El Nino Southern Oscilation (ENENSO). These differences could also be due to a switch of habitats during the life cycle of fish from the open ocean.
Keywords : Coral Climate Change
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Olivier Savoyat Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 3:59:58 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 1:41:52 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01162477, version 1


F. Morat, D. Blamart, Raymonde Lecomte-Finiger, Serge Planes, René Galzin. From the geochemistry of coral reef fish otoliths to climate : what can we learn from the example of Taiaro lagoon ? . Vie et Milieu / Life & Environment, Observatoire Océanologique - Laboratoire Arago, 2015, 65 (1), pp.21-28. ⟨hal-01162477⟩



Record views