Peck, M. A., H. Baumann, C. Clemmesen, J. P. Herrmann, M. Moyano, and A. Temming 2015. Calibrating and comparing somatic-, nucleic acid-, and otolith-based indicators of growth and condition in young juvenile European sprat (Sprattus sprattus). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 471:217-228.
Reliable estimates of short- and longer-term in situ growth and condition of organisms are critical if one hopes to understand how the environment regulates survival. This laboratory study reports the first comparison of somatic- (K), biochemical- (RNA–DNA ratio, RD) and otolith- (increment widths, OIW) based indices of condition of a young juvenile fish. It found that RNA:DNA ratios react 2x faster to growth changes due to changes in feeding level than otolith increment widths, while condition factor was the most variable proxy.