Tracking recruitment pathways of Chromis viridis in the Gulf of Aqaba using otolith chemistry

O. Ben-Tzvi, M. Kiflawi, S. D. Gaines, M. Al-Zibdah, M. S. Sheeny, G. L. Paradis, A. Abelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Connectivity among coral reef fish populations is a key factor in governing the structure and dynamics of marine communities and should therefore be taken into account in management and conservation plans. Determining connectivity patterns is a challenging task, since direct tracking of larval trajectories is essentially impossible. During the last decade, however, there have been some significant achievements in the form of indirect tracking of larval sources. Some of these are based on trace elements incorporated into the otoliths of dispersing larvae, which may assist in the identification of natal origins and provide some information about larval trajectories. In this study an attempt was made to infer the dispersal trajectories of larval Chromis viridis (Pomacentridae) that recruit to populations along the northern Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea). The patterns of trace-element signals found in otoliths (identified by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry), complemented by the spatial structure in pelagic larval durations (PLD), suggest that the northern populations (i.e. Aqaba and Eilat) of C. viridis are seeded by larvae that disperse along more than one route from sources along the Saudi and Sinai (Egyptian) coasts. The study findings imply that any sound management plans or conservation measures for coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba should be regional, and should ideally involve collaboration among all the adjacent countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Ecology - Progress Series
StatePublished - 5 May 2008


  • Connectivity
  • Larval stage
  • Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  • Red sea
  • Trace-elemental signature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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