Stable isotope ecology

Newton, J. (2010) Stable isotope ecology. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. ISBN 9780470015902 (doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0021231)

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Stable isotope geochemistry has proved to be an extremely useful tool in elucidating many ecological problems, with stable isotope ecology comprising the theme of a series of international conferences (http:// Stable isotopes can be used as biological tracers in the following ways: (i) to identify sources, for instance in determining the identity of basal carbon in a food web; (ii) to distinguish sources, for example to determine whether a breeding animal is using local resources or itsownreserves; (iii) to quantify relative inputs in a system, for example determining the proportions of different prey items to a consumer’s diet. When utilized carefully, stable isotope geochemistry provides some advantages over conventional methods, and provides an additional device for the ecologist. The following article provides a short reference for ecologists considering the inclusion of stable isotope analysis as part of their methodology.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Newton, Dr Jason
Authors: Newton, J.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Published Online:15 January 2010

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