Fluctuating asymmetry in the sagittal otoliths of Atherina boyeri from the Hirfanlı Dam Lake (Kırşehir, Türkiye)



Fish may face stress due to many different pollutants in their habitats. They may express this negative situation they experience with fluctuating asymmetry(FA) as a developmental disorder. In particular, high levels of asymmetry may affect the activities of fish and even cause serious problems in their lives. In the present study, fluctuating asymmetry levels of the otoliths of the Atherina boyeri distributed in Hirfanlı Dam Lake were investigated. A total of 100 fish samples were evaluated within the scope of the study, and these fish individuals were divided into six total length groups, taking into account the sample size. The left and right sagittal otoliths of fish individuals in each length group were removed. Otolith characters such as area, length, perimeter, and width were measured. The FA values of these four otolith characters of the A. boyeri were calculated separately for both population-based and total-length groups. Additionally, the relationship between FA values and total length groups was investigated. It was determined that there was no statistical difference between the left and right sagittal otolith measurements of A. boyeri individuals (P>0.05). In these four otolith characteristics, the highest FA level was calculated in the otolith width, and the lowest FA level was calculated in the otolith perimeter. It was determined that the FA values in the otolith characters differed between the total length groups. The highest FA value was calculated in the otolith area in total length group I, while the lowest FA value was calculated in the otolith perimeter in total length group IV. For A. boyeri individuals, the percentage of asymmetrical individuals was calculated to be highest in otolith area and otolith perimeter (100%), and lowest in otolith width (83%). Additionally, there are individuals with asymmetrical features in all total length groups. It was determined that there was no significant relationship between the FA values of otolith in the A. boyeri and the total length groups. The results of this study show that the population of A. boyeri in Hirfanlı Dam Lake could be under environmental stress.


Fluctuating asymmetry; Atherina boyeri; Invasive species; Environmental stress

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