Document Detail

Comparison of aquatic food chains using nitrogen isotopes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8855268     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Recent studies have shown the utility of delta(15)N to model trophic structure and contaminant bioaccumulation in aquatic food webs. However, cross-system comparisons in delta(15)N can be complicated by differences in delta(15)N at the base of the food chain. Such baseline variation in delta(15)N is difficult to resolve using plankton because of the large temporal variability in the delta(15)N of small organisms that have fast nitrogen turnover. Comparisons using large primary consumers, which have stable tissue isotopic signatures because of their slower nitrogen turnover, show that delta(15)N increases markedly with the human population density in the lake watershed. This shift in delta(15)N likely reflects the high delta(15)N of human sewage. Correcting for this baseline variation in delta(15)N, we report that, contrary to expectations based on previous food-web analysis, the food chains leading up to fish varied by about only one trophic level among the 40 lakes studied. Our results also suggest that the delta(15)N signatures of nitrogen at the base of the food chain will provide a useful tool in the assessment of anthropogenic nutrient inputs.
G Cabana; J B Rasmussen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  93     ISSN:  0027-8424     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  1996 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-11-25     Completed Date:  1996-11-25     Revised Date:  2010-09-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  10844-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, Mcgill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Fishes / metabolism
Food Supply
Nitrogen Isotopes*
Waste Management
Water Pollution*
Water Purification
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Nitrogen Isotopes

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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