Effects of lipid and urea extraction on stable isotope values (δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N) of two batoids: a call for more species-specific investigations

Crook, Kevin A., Barnett, Adam, Sheaves, Marcus, and Abrantes, Katya (2019) Effects of lipid and urea extraction on stable isotope values (δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N) of two batoids: a call for more species-specific investigations. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 17 (11). pp. 565-574.

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The presence of lipids and urea in elasmobranch tissues can affect carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) stable isotope values, introducing bias in food web interpretations. Information on how lipids and urea affect δ¹³C/δ¹⁵N is only available for < 5% of similar to 1150 described elasmobranch species and results are highly variable among existing studies. Here, we investigate the effects of lipid and urea extraction on δ¹³C, δ¹⁵N, and C:N ratios in muscle and blood plasma of two batoids (Pastinachus ater and Himantura australis) and examine the influence of lipid/urea extraction on isotopic niche size and overlap. Lipid extraction (LE) did not affect δ¹³C, δ¹⁵N, or C:N ratios, suggesting low lipid content. Urea extraction (UE), however, increased δ¹⁵N and C:N in muscle. The similar to 1 parts per thousand δ¹⁵N increase represents a shift of similar to 0.5 trophic levels relative to bulk samples, highlighting the importance of UE to accurately assess trophic positions. Although there was no effect of any treatment on niche size, the probability of P. ater occurring within the niche of H. australis increased following UE. Overall, results suggest that urea should be removed from muscle prior to analysis, but LE is not required. Given the interspecific variability in the effects of lipid/urea on elasmobranch δ¹³C/δ¹⁵N, more studies are needed to assess the effects of lipid and urea on a broader range of species to produce a generalized understanding. Where no species-specific data are available, we recommend pilot samples are analyzed to determine if LE is needed prior to preparation of the overall sample set.

Item ID: 60854
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1541-5856
Copyright Information: © 2019 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.
Funders: SeaWorld Research and Rescue Foundation (SWRRF), Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (HWRE), Ecological Society of Australia (ESA)
Projects and Grants: SWRRF Grant number SWR/11/2017
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2019 07:34
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3101 Biochemistry and cell biology > 310112 Structural biology (incl. macromolecular modelling) @ 100%
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