MEPS 296:115-128 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps296115

Variability of diet-tissue isotopic fractionation in estuarine macrobenthos

Hisashi Yokoyama1,*, Akio Tamaki2, Kazuyuki Harada2, Katsumasa Shimoda2,Kazuki Koyama2, Yuka Ishihi1

1National Research Institute of Aquaculture, Fisheries Research Agency, Nansei, Mie 516-0193, Japan
2Marine Research Institute, Nagasaki University, Taira-Machi 1551-7, Nagasaki 851-2213, Japan *

ABSTRACT: Juveniles of bivalves Mactra veneriformis and Ruditapes philippinarum, and ghost shrimps Nihonotrypaea japonica and N. harmandi were reared on a microalga of a constant isotopic value to quantify their diet-tissue isotopic fractionation. The weights of the animals increased by >7-fold, resulting in isotopic equilibria with their diet. Fractionation for bivalve soft tissues was 0.6 to 0.9‰ for carbon and 3.4 to 3.6‰ for nitrogen, which fell within the range of the currently accepted fractionation values (0 to 1 and 3 to 4‰). Examinations of acid-treated or untreated whole body, muscle and exoskeleton of the ghost shrimps showed (1) large variations in δ13C for untreated exoskeletons, (2) reduced δ13C for acid-treated exoskeletons by 3.5 to 6.2‰, (3) confined ranges in 13C and 15N fractionations for muscles (2.0 to 2.2 and 3.6 to 4.0‰), (4) only slight effects of acid treatment on 13C and 15N fractionation for muscles (≤0.3‰ differences), (5) a significant difference in 13C fractionation for acid-treated whole bodies between N. japonica (–0.3‰) and N. harmandi (–1.7‰), and (6) 2.3 to 3.0‰ of 15N fractionation for whole bodies, which were smaller than for muscles due to negative fractionation for exoskeletons (–3.0 to –1.9‰). These findings suggest that carbonates in exoskeletons should be removed by acid and that muscle is the most appropriate tissue for isotopic analysis. Although 15N fractionation for ghost-shrimp muscle was within the above-mentioned accepted range, 13C fractionation was outside this range. The present study highlights that fractionation is species- and tissue-specific, and that the accepted fractionation values may not be universally applicable.

KEY WORDS: Stable isotopes · Trophic enrichment · Feeding experiment · Callianassid shrimp · Bivalve

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