Establishing highly accurate production-age data using the tree-ring technique of crossdating: A case study for Pacific geoduck (Panopea abrupta)

Bryan A. Black, Darlene C. Gillespie, Shayne E. MacLellan, Claudia M. Hand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

We apply the tree-ring technique of crossdating to generate highly accurate age data and evaluate error in annual growth increment (annual growth zone) counts for long-lived Pacific geoduck (Panopea abrupta) in the Tree Nob Islands, northern British Columbia, Canada. Crossdating is the most fundamental procedure of tree-ring analysis and is based on the tendency of environmental variability to synchronize the growth of all individuals at a given site. By crossmatching these synchronous growth "bar codes", all growth increments can be correctly identified and assigned the correct calendar year, including the innermost year of recruitment. In this analysis, a total of 432 geoduck individuals were aged using crossdating methods as well as annual growth increment counts. The entire crossdating process was completed using visual techniques, requiring no additional equipment beyond a microscope or microprojector. When compared with crossdated ages, growth increment counts consistently underaged Pacific geoduck, particularly in the oldest individuals. These inaccuracies obscured major recruitment pulses and underestimated the rarity of strong recruitment events. To date, crossdating has been used to develop growth chronologies in a variety of marine and freshwater bivalve and fish species, but no study has demonstrated how the technique can be used to dramatically and economically improve accuracy in age data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2572-2578
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume65
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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