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Low delta C-13 signatures in pelagic seabirds: lipid ingestion as a potential source of C-13-depleted carbon in the Procellariiformes

Thompson, D.R., Phillips, R.A., Stewart, F.M., and Waldron, S. (2000) Low delta C-13 signatures in pelagic seabirds: lipid ingestion as a potential source of C-13-depleted carbon in the Procellariiformes. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 208 . pp. 265-271. ISSN 0171-8630

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Publisher's URL: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v208/p265-271.html

Abstract

Stable-isotope ratios of carbon (delta C-13) were determined in liver samples from a number of procellariiform seabirds from New Zealand. Generally, delta C-13 values were low (depleted in C-13) and there was a significant degree of intra- and inter- specific variation. We suggest that the pelagic versus inshore/benthic foraging model for delta C-13 values in marine consumers is insufficient to explain the intra- and inter- specific variation. Nor can observed delta C-13 values of procellariforms be linked to variation in foraging distances. We propose that carbon relatively depleted in C-13 derived from dietary Lipids is incorporated into proteins. Support for this hypothesis is provided by depleted delta C-13 signatures we measured in lipids extracted from liver tissue, which were always lower than delta C-13 signatures in Liver tissue (by 4.2 to 6.8 parts per thousand, depending on species). Additionally, delta C-13 values were determined in a small number of stomach- oil samples; these too were relatively depleted and lower than delta C-13 values measured in Liver tissue. Incorporation of dietary lipids, relatively depleted in C-13, into protein could explain both intra- and inter-specific variation in delta C-13 signatures in procellariiforms and may represent an additional explanation for relatively low delta C-13 values in pelagic consumers.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):Waldron, Prof Susan
Authors: Thompson, D.R., Phillips, R.A., Stewart, F.M., and Waldron, S.
Subjects:Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QH Natural history
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Marine Ecology Progress Series
ISSN:0171-8630

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