Document Detail

The isotopic composition and insect content of diet predict tissue isotopic values in a South American passerine assemblage.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23014885     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
We analyzed the carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of the muscle, liver, and crop contents ("diet") of 132 individuals of 16 species of Chilean birds. The nitrogen content of diet was tightly correlated with the fraction of gut contents represented by insects relative to plant material. The carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of diet, liver, and muscle were all linearly correlated, implying high temporal consistency in the isotopic value of the diet of these birds. However, δ(15)N was not significantly related with the percentage of insects in diet. These results cast doubt on the applicability of the use of (15)N enrichment to diagnose trophic level in, at least some, terrestrial ecosystems. However, the residuals of the relationship relating the isotopic value of bird tissues with those of their diet were weakly negatively correlated with insect intake. We hypothesize that this negative correlation stems from the higher quality of protein found in insects relative to that of plant materials. Finally, our data corroborated a perplexing and controversial negative relationship between tissue to diet isotopic discrimination and the isotopic value of diet. We suggest that this relationship is an example of the commonly observed regression to the mean effect that plagues many scientific studies.
Pablo Sabat; Natalia Ramirez-Otarola; Francisco Bozinovic; Carlos Martínez Del Rio
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-9-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative physiology. B, Biochemical, systemic, and environmental physiology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-136X     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Comp. Physiol. B, Biochem. Syst. Environ. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-9-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8413200     Medline TA:  J Comp Physiol B     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casillla 653, Santiago, Chile,
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