Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Refined bomb radiocarbon dating of two iconic fishes of the Great Barrier Reef

Allen H. Andrews A D , John H. Choat B , Richard J. Hamilton C and Edward E. DeMartini A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A NOAA Fisheries – Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, 1845 Wasp Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96818, USA.

B School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.

C The Nature Conservancy – Asia-Pacific Division, 245 Riverside Drive, West End, Qld 4101, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: allen.andrews@noaa.gov

Marine and Freshwater Research 66(4) 305-316 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF14086
Submitted: 29 March 2014  Accepted: 23 July 2014   Published: 19 November 2014

Abstract

Refinements to the methodology of bomb radiocarbon dating made it possible to validate age estimates of the humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) and bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum). Age for these species has been estimated from presumed annual growth zones in otoliths at ~30 and ~40 years respectively. The validity of these estimates was tested using bomb radiocarbon dating on the small and fragile otoliths of these species, and provided an opportunity to refine the method using advanced technologies. A regional Δ14C reference record from hermatypic coral cores from the Great Barrier Reef was assembled and Δ14C measurements from extracted otolith cores of adult otoliths were successful. Validated ages supported the accuracy of growth zone derived ages using sectioned sagittal otoliths.

Additional keywords: Australia, Bolbometopon muricatum, bumphead parrotfish, carbon-14, Cheilinus undulatus, humphead wrasse, Labridae, micromilling, otolith.


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