Trophic-level interpretation based on d15N values:implications of tissue-specific fractionation and amino acid composition

K. Schmidt, J. W. McClelland, J. P. Montoya, A. Atkinson, M. Voss

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    95 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Stable nitrogen isotope ratios are routinely used to disentangle trophic relationships. Several authors have discussed factors in addition to diet that might contribute to variability in delta(15)N of consumers, but few studies have explored such factors in detail. For a better understanding of tissue-specific differences in delta(15)N, we examined postlarval euphausiids across a variety of seasons and regions in the Southern Ocean. The concentration and delta(15)N of individual amino acids were analysed to account for both the biochemical and physiological underpinnings of the observed bulk delta(15)N. Euphausiids showed consistent d(15)N differences of 1 to 2 parts per thousand between the digestive gland and abdominal segment, and between reproductively active males and females. These differences in bulk delta(15)N were accompanied by variations in relative proportions of amino acids (up to 5 mol %) and their delta(15)N (up to 11parts per thousand). Aspartic acid and glutamic acid had the strongest influence on bulk delta(15)N, due to their high abundance and variable delta(15)N values. Differences in relative proportions and/or delta(15)N of glycine and alanine were also important for bulk delta(15)N values. Isotopic variations in amino acids between gender and tissues were explained by dominant internal processes such as protein synthesis or degradation for energy supply, and by differences in amino acid pool sizes. Despite the offset in bulk delta(15)N between females and males, several lines of evidence suggested that their trophic levels were similar. Thus, specific amino acid composition and metabolism may confound trophic level interpretations of bulk delta(15)N values. Micronekton are normally analyzed whole in isotopic studies, and we suggest that their analyses should be restricted to comparable tissues such as muscles.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-58
    Number of pages15
    JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
    Volume266
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

    Keywords

    • stable isotopes
    • delta N-15
    • amino acids
    • tissue
    • Euphausia superba
    • male
    • female
    • KRILL EUPHAUSIA-SUPERBA
    • PRAWN PENAEUS-ESCULENTUS
    • DIETARY-PROTEIN CONTENT
    • ANTARCTIC KRILL
    • STABLE-ISOTOPES
    • NITROGEN ISOTOPES
    • FOOD-WEB
    • MEGANYCTIPHANES-NORVEGICA
    • COMMUNITY STRUCTURE
    • MARINE ZOOPLANKTON

    Cite this

    Trophic-level interpretation based on d15N values:implications of tissue-specific fractionation and amino acid composition. / Schmidt, K.; McClelland, J. W.; Montoya, J. P.; Atkinson, A.; Voss, M.

    In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 266, 2004, p. 43-58.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Schmidt, K. ; McClelland, J. W. ; Montoya, J. P. ; Atkinson, A. ; Voss, M. / Trophic-level interpretation based on d15N values:implications of tissue-specific fractionation and amino acid composition. In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. 2004 ; Vol. 266. pp. 43-58.
    @article{a1de67f3fe104572862178e282538484,
    title = "Trophic-level interpretation based on d15N values:implications of tissue-specific fractionation and amino acid composition",
    abstract = "Stable nitrogen isotope ratios are routinely used to disentangle trophic relationships. Several authors have discussed factors in addition to diet that might contribute to variability in delta(15)N of consumers, but few studies have explored such factors in detail. For a better understanding of tissue-specific differences in delta(15)N, we examined postlarval euphausiids across a variety of seasons and regions in the Southern Ocean. The concentration and delta(15)N of individual amino acids were analysed to account for both the biochemical and physiological underpinnings of the observed bulk delta(15)N. Euphausiids showed consistent d(15)N differences of 1 to 2 parts per thousand between the digestive gland and abdominal segment, and between reproductively active males and females. These differences in bulk delta(15)N were accompanied by variations in relative proportions of amino acids (up to 5 mol {\%}) and their delta(15)N (up to 11parts per thousand). Aspartic acid and glutamic acid had the strongest influence on bulk delta(15)N, due to their high abundance and variable delta(15)N values. Differences in relative proportions and/or delta(15)N of glycine and alanine were also important for bulk delta(15)N values. Isotopic variations in amino acids between gender and tissues were explained by dominant internal processes such as protein synthesis or degradation for energy supply, and by differences in amino acid pool sizes. Despite the offset in bulk delta(15)N between females and males, several lines of evidence suggested that their trophic levels were similar. Thus, specific amino acid composition and metabolism may confound trophic level interpretations of bulk delta(15)N values. Micronekton are normally analyzed whole in isotopic studies, and we suggest that their analyses should be restricted to comparable tissues such as muscles.",
    keywords = "stable isotopes, delta N-15, amino acids, tissue, Euphausia superba, male, female, KRILL EUPHAUSIA-SUPERBA, PRAWN PENAEUS-ESCULENTUS, DIETARY-PROTEIN CONTENT, ANTARCTIC KRILL, STABLE-ISOTOPES, NITROGEN ISOTOPES, FOOD-WEB, MEGANYCTIPHANES-NORVEGICA, COMMUNITY STRUCTURE, MARINE ZOOPLANKTON",
    author = "K. Schmidt and McClelland, {J. W.} and Montoya, {J. P.} and A. Atkinson and M. Voss",
    year = "2004",
    language = "English",
    volume = "266",
    pages = "43--58",
    journal = "Marine Ecology Progress Series",
    issn = "0171-8630",
    publisher = "Inter-Research",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Trophic-level interpretation based on d15N values:implications of tissue-specific fractionation and amino acid composition

    AU - Schmidt, K.

    AU - McClelland, J. W.

    AU - Montoya, J. P.

    AU - Atkinson, A.

    AU - Voss, M.

    PY - 2004

    Y1 - 2004

    N2 - Stable nitrogen isotope ratios are routinely used to disentangle trophic relationships. Several authors have discussed factors in addition to diet that might contribute to variability in delta(15)N of consumers, but few studies have explored such factors in detail. For a better understanding of tissue-specific differences in delta(15)N, we examined postlarval euphausiids across a variety of seasons and regions in the Southern Ocean. The concentration and delta(15)N of individual amino acids were analysed to account for both the biochemical and physiological underpinnings of the observed bulk delta(15)N. Euphausiids showed consistent d(15)N differences of 1 to 2 parts per thousand between the digestive gland and abdominal segment, and between reproductively active males and females. These differences in bulk delta(15)N were accompanied by variations in relative proportions of amino acids (up to 5 mol %) and their delta(15)N (up to 11parts per thousand). Aspartic acid and glutamic acid had the strongest influence on bulk delta(15)N, due to their high abundance and variable delta(15)N values. Differences in relative proportions and/or delta(15)N of glycine and alanine were also important for bulk delta(15)N values. Isotopic variations in amino acids between gender and tissues were explained by dominant internal processes such as protein synthesis or degradation for energy supply, and by differences in amino acid pool sizes. Despite the offset in bulk delta(15)N between females and males, several lines of evidence suggested that their trophic levels were similar. Thus, specific amino acid composition and metabolism may confound trophic level interpretations of bulk delta(15)N values. Micronekton are normally analyzed whole in isotopic studies, and we suggest that their analyses should be restricted to comparable tissues such as muscles.

    AB - Stable nitrogen isotope ratios are routinely used to disentangle trophic relationships. Several authors have discussed factors in addition to diet that might contribute to variability in delta(15)N of consumers, but few studies have explored such factors in detail. For a better understanding of tissue-specific differences in delta(15)N, we examined postlarval euphausiids across a variety of seasons and regions in the Southern Ocean. The concentration and delta(15)N of individual amino acids were analysed to account for both the biochemical and physiological underpinnings of the observed bulk delta(15)N. Euphausiids showed consistent d(15)N differences of 1 to 2 parts per thousand between the digestive gland and abdominal segment, and between reproductively active males and females. These differences in bulk delta(15)N were accompanied by variations in relative proportions of amino acids (up to 5 mol %) and their delta(15)N (up to 11parts per thousand). Aspartic acid and glutamic acid had the strongest influence on bulk delta(15)N, due to their high abundance and variable delta(15)N values. Differences in relative proportions and/or delta(15)N of glycine and alanine were also important for bulk delta(15)N values. Isotopic variations in amino acids between gender and tissues were explained by dominant internal processes such as protein synthesis or degradation for energy supply, and by differences in amino acid pool sizes. Despite the offset in bulk delta(15)N between females and males, several lines of evidence suggested that their trophic levels were similar. Thus, specific amino acid composition and metabolism may confound trophic level interpretations of bulk delta(15)N values. Micronekton are normally analyzed whole in isotopic studies, and we suggest that their analyses should be restricted to comparable tissues such as muscles.

    KW - stable isotopes

    KW - delta N-15

    KW - amino acids

    KW - tissue

    KW - Euphausia superba

    KW - male

    KW - female

    KW - KRILL EUPHAUSIA-SUPERBA

    KW - PRAWN PENAEUS-ESCULENTUS

    KW - DIETARY-PROTEIN CONTENT

    KW - ANTARCTIC KRILL

    KW - STABLE-ISOTOPES

    KW - NITROGEN ISOTOPES

    KW - FOOD-WEB

    KW - MEGANYCTIPHANES-NORVEGICA

    KW - COMMUNITY STRUCTURE

    KW - MARINE ZOOPLANKTON

    M3 - Article

    VL - 266

    SP - 43

    EP - 58

    JO - Marine Ecology Progress Series

    JF - Marine Ecology Progress Series

    SN - 0171-8630

    ER -