[MARMAM] New publication on marine mammal teeth as tools to investigate climate-growth relations

Jane McKenzie janemckenzie at malpage.com
Wed Mar 16 23:16:44 PDT 2016

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the following publication is
now available online in Marine Biology:

Wittmann, T.A., Izzo, C., Doubleday, Z.A., McKenzie, J., Delean, S. and
Gillanders, B.M (2016). Reconstructing climate–growth relations from the
teeth of a marine mammal. Marine Biology 163:71. *doi:10. 1007/
s00227-016-2846-6 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-016-2846-6>*

The study demonstrates the underutilised potential of marine mammal teeth
to develop long-term, indirect records of climate–growth relations. The
study also presents a rigorous methodology for determining the suitability
of a species for sclerochronological analysis.

We hope it will inspire a few more marine biologists to dust off those
teeth collections and take a second look.

*Abstract:* Sclerochronological analysis of growth increment patterns
(growth layer groups; GLG) in marine mammal teeth offers a unique
opportunity to reconstruct climate– growth relations of marine mammal
populations overlong time series. We developed sclerochronologies from GLG
width measures in the cementum of male and female New Zealand fur seal
forsteri*) post-canine teeth collected from southern Australia. Tooth
growth chronologies spanned 15 years and encompassed the period from 1987
to 2001. We also developed a rigorous analytical framework for assessing
species suitability for sclerochronological analyses. Suitability
assessments indicated that GLG clarity and relative width measures were
variable among regions within individual teeth, and therefore, measurements
were standardised to a consistent tissue type. Deposition of cementum in
post-canine teeth was also correlated with body size, suggesting tooth
growth measures were a suitable proxy of somatic growth. Inter-annual
patterns of tooth growth were negatively correlated with mean annual sea
surface temperature and the Southern Oscillation Index (both lagged by 1
year), but the strength of the relationships differed between the sexes.
These results suggest both local- and regional-scale physical processes
influence variations in growth and provide the first evidence of an
environmental effect on cementum growth in a marine mammal. This study
demonstrates the underutilised potential of marine mammal teeth to provide
extended time series of growth, critical information which facilitates
predictions of future ecological response to environmental change.

The full article pdf and supplementary material are available to download
from the Marine Biology website:

Best wishes,

Jane McKenzie
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20160317/f7442254/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list