Stable isotope food web studies: a case for standardized sample treatment


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ujacob [ at ] awi-bremerhaven.de

Abstract

The enrichment of the stable isotopes 13C and 15N across trophic levels is a commonly used tool in studies on organic matter flow and food webs. An accepted standard for pre-analysis sample preparation, however, is still missing. Thus, potential methodological bias in single studies may hamper comparability and scalability of data from different sources. Sample CaCO3 content introduces a positive bias in ?13C measurements and a negative bias in ?15N measurements. The acidification of samples to remove inorganic carbonate significantly reduces both ?13C and ?15N. As a standard procedure we recommend (i) to acidify samples with as little hydrochloric acid (HCl) as possible using the drop-by-drop technique and (ii) to restrain from rinsing after HCl application.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
10664
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Jacob, U. , Mintenbeck, K. , Brey, T. , Knust, R. and Beyer, K. (2005): Stable isotope food web studies: a case for standardized sample treatment , Marine ecology-progress series, 287 , pp. 251-253 .


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