While otolith techniques are well-accepted and broadly used in fisheries studies, less is known about the causes of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystallographic diversity in otoliths and how this diversity can impact results and data interpretation. These forms of CaCO3 have different crystal structures, that is, the chemical formula for all forms is CaCO3 but the arrangement of atoms and bonds differs which influences the rate at which otoliths take up and retain trace elements. These differences can lead to incorrect interpretations of otolith chemistry data, ultimately impacting species conservation and management. This symposium will highlight otolith crystallographic and other anomalies that can affect interpretation of trace element chemistry, ageing, and other applications for otoliths to begin defining the scale of the issue and priorities for research on otolith crystallography.


  • Brenda Pracheil, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, [email protected]
  • Karin Limburg, SUNY-ESF
  • Bryan C. Chakoumakos, Oak Ridge National Laboratory