Use of a δ13C–δ15N relationship to determine animal trophic positions in a tropical Australian estuarine wetland

Abrantes, Kátya, and Sheaves, Marcus (2010) Use of a δ13C–δ15N relationship to determine animal trophic positions in a tropical Australian estuarine wetland. Austral Ecology, 35 (1). pp. 96-103.

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Stable isotope composition of organisms from different trophic groups collected from a semi-isolated wetland pool in the Ross River estuary, northern Australia, was analysed to determine if there was a consistent relationship between δ13C, δ15N and trophic level that could be used to assign trophic positions. A strong linear negative relationship between δ13C and δ15N was detected for the three trophic levels considered (primary producers, primary consumers and secondary consumers). This relationship was consistent among trophic levels, differing only in height, that is, on δ15N values, which indicate trophic positions. A difference of 3.6–3.8‰ between trophic levels was present, suggesting a δ15N fractionation of approximately 3.7‰, a value slightly higher than the commonly assumed δ15N fractionation of approximately 3.4‰. The relationship between δ13C and δ15N was similar for invertebrate and fish primary consumers, indicating similar δ15N trophic fractionation for both groups, meaning trophic positions and trophic length could be reliably calculated based on either invertebrates or fish.

Item ID: 15208
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: baseline d15N, estuary, fish, food web, stable isotope analysis, trophic level
ISSN: 1442-9993
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2011 05:47
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 20%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 5
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