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ISSN : 2288-1115(Print)
ISSN : 2288-1123(Online)
Korean Journal of Ecology and Environment Vol.52 No.4 pp.324-332

Analysis of the Concentration of Metal Elements in Freshwater Fish Otolith Using LA-ICP/MS

Woo Park, Suk-Hee Yoon, Jaeseon Park, Bo-Ra Lim, Hyeri Lee, Jong Woo Choi*
Environmental Measurement and Analysis Center, National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon 22689, Republic of Korea
* Corresponding author: Tel: +82-32-560-8383, Fax: +82-32-560-7905, E-mail:


In this study, the possibility of a follow-up study on environmental pollution in domestic freshwater was identified by analyzing fish otoliths using Laser ablation-inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP/MS). Fish otolith are known to be affected by the environment in which fish live. As a result, research on this subject is active in many countries; however, this is not the case in Korea. Therefore, in this study, the possibility of tracing environmental pollution using fish otoliths was identified by analyzing the components of metal elements used as indicators for environmental pollution. For the component analysis of metallic elements LA-ICP/MS, which can shorten analysis time by reducing the pretreatment process, was used. Sampling was conducted by dividing the research and the background area and carp, a freshwater species, was selected as the experimental fish species subject. Based on the established LA-ICP/MS conditions, the concentration of the metallic elements in the fish otoliths collected in the research area was 2202.9 mg kg-1, 2.03 times higher than the 1,086.3 mg kg-1 in the background area. All elements except for Li and U, were found to be higher in the research area than in the background area. Compared with the sediment measuring net analysis data, the distribution tendency of Zn, Pb, and Cu in sediment metal element concentrations in the two regions and distribution of metal element concentration in fish otoliths were similarly shown. These results confirm that fish otoliths can be used to track environmental pollutants, such as in sediments.

LA-ICP/MS를 이용한 담수 어류 이석 내 금속 원소 농도 분석

국립환경과학원 환경측정분석센터