An insect isoscape of UK and Ireland

Newton, J. (2021) An insect isoscape of UK and Ireland. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 35(15), e9126. (doi: 10.1002/rcm.9126) (PMID:34008249)

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Rationale? The study of insect migration is problematic due to the small size of insects. Stable isotope analysis can be used to elucidate movement, either by geographic assignment of location of a species, or by simply distinguishing migrant from resident populations. There are few isoscapes of any kind in the UK/Ireland available for interrogation. Thus, I have measured stable isotope ratios (of H, C, N and S) of 299 individuals of the non-migratory Brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) collected from 93 locations around the UK and Ireland by citizen scientists. Methods: After removing lipids, stable isotope ratios were measured by continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry, using either a conventional elemental analyser (C, N and S) or a high temperature, thermal conversion elemental analyser in reductive mode. Results: Maps (isoscapes) were constructed that illustrate the stable isotope spatial distribution of this insect. These are the first isoscapes of H, C, N and S of biological samples covering both UK and Ireland. Conclusions: The insect isoscape patterns can be explained from what we know of moth diet, climate and geology. Sulfur isotopes may be of particular use for distinguishing individuals from areas of unique geology. Isoscape patterns may (with care) predict isotope compositions of other, herbivorous, non-aquatic, chitinous taxa. Such isoscapes, when extended beyond the UK and Ireland, would provide a useful tool to elucidate insect migration.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Newton, Dr Jason
Authors: Newton, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
ISSN (Online):1097-0231
Published Online:18 May 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author
First Published:First published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 35(15): e9126
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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