Reference : Application of stable isotopes in trophic ecology: importance of TEF and seasonal bas...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology
Application of stable isotopes in trophic ecology: importance of TEF and seasonal baseline for robust interpretations.
[en] Application des isotopes stables en écologie trophique: importance des TEFs et de la baseline pour des interprétations robustes
Remy, François mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanologie >]
Darchambeau, François mailto [Université de Liège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Océanographie chimique >]
Dauby, Patrick mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Systématique et diversité animale >]
Melchior, Aurélie []
Gobert, Sylvie mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanologie >]
Lepoint, Gilles mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanologie >]
BASIS 2015 Meeting
du 2 avril 2015 au 3 avril 2015
[en] Stable Isotope ; Trophic Ecology ; Marine ecology
[en] Nitrogen, carbon and sulfur stable isotopes are very powerful tools for trophic ecologists to delineate food webs of various ecosystems. More recently… the use of mixing models has exponentially increased to give a more specific vision of organism’s diets and trophic relationships.

Two case studies will be presented to give a summary of what’s been done in Liège Oceanology Lab to improve our interpretation of stable isotopes results.
First is an experimental calculation of the Trophic Enrichment Factors (TEFs) for one dominant detritivorous species of Mediterranean amphipod inhabiting seagrass detritus: Gammarus aequicauda (Martynov, 1931). This experimental study was planned after a strange result of the SAIR mixing model, giving results opposed to all observations and knowledge we had about this species. Thus, the impact of 3 very different food sources (amphipod powder, algae power, seagrass powder) on the turnover rate of C and N isotopic compositions was tested, and afterwards TEFs for C and N for each source were calculated. Animal food source showed to be the most effectively assimilated with a fast turnover rate while seagrass and algae showed very slow assimilation. TEFs calculations showed to be interesting because TEFs seem not to depend on the natural feeding type of the invertebrate but more on the type of food source. Animal source showed carnivorous TEFs values while seagrass and algae source showed typical detritivorous values. SIAR results with these new custom values gave more coherent values highlighting the major importance of TEFs values for mixing models data interpretation.
Second is a simple question: are the seasonal isotopic composition variations observed for many seagrass detritus macrofauna species due to actual diet changes, or only to isotopic baseline shift of the food sources? Macrofauna and all potential food sources were sampled near STARESO Oceanographic Station (Corsica, 8°45’E; 42°35’N) in 2011-2012 at each season at two different sites. SIBER software runs with C and N isotopic data showed spatio-temporal isotopic variations at community, interspecific and intraspecific level. SIBER did not gave us information about the origin of these changes, but coupled with SIAR and our custom TEFs, species actually showing drastic changes of diet were identified, while others seem to reflect more a source baseline isotopic composition shift. Working at specific level is compulsory for fine conclusions.

These two case studies highlight the importance of mixing model use and of accurate TEF values to run these models properly to draw robust and reliable conclusions using stable isotopic data.
Centre Interfacultaire de Recherches en Océanologie - MARE
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS
La théorie des pulses peut-elle être appliquée aux macro-invertébrés des accumulations de macrophytodétritus marins en Méditerranée ?
Researchers ; Professionals

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