The life histories of Plecoglossidae and Osmeridae fish collected from Japanese fresh, brackish, and seawaters were studied by examining the strontium (Sr) to calcium (Ca) ratios in their otoliths. The Sr:Ca ratios in the otoliths changed with the salinity of the habitat. The fish living in a freshwater environment showed consistently low Sr:Ca ratios throughout the otolith. The fish were identified as a standard freshwater type. In contrast, fish collected from the intertidal zone showed higher otolith Sr:Ca ratios than those in the standard freshwater type, and the ratios fluctuated along the growth phase. In the present study, in addition to the representative migration pattern reported previously, other migration patterns were found to show consistently high Sr:Ca ratios throughout the otolith in several Osmeridae fish. Those results indicate that these fish have a flexible migration strategy with a high degree of behavioural plasticity and an ability to utilize the full range of salinity throughout their life history.
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