FCH797 Stable Isotopic Tracers inthe Environment

Reading List

This list is by no means extensive as there are thousands of papers dealing with stable isotopes. We will use several of these papers during the class and the rest are provided for your use in preparing your research papers.

Best introductions to stable isotopes

  • Michener R. H. and Lajtha, K. (eds.). (2007). Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science. Blackwell Publishing. Oxford, England. 2nd Edition ISBN 978-1-4051-2680-9

  • Fry, B. (2007) Stable Isotope Ecology. Springer.

  • Kendall, C., McDonnell, J.J., (1998) Isotope tracers in catchment hydrology. ElsevierAmsterdam, The Netherlands. WebLink

  • Lajtha, K. and R.H. Michener (eds.). (1994). Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Ltd. Oxford, England.

  • Peterson, B. J. and B. Fry. 1987. Stable Isotopes in Ecosystem Studies. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 18: 293-320.

  • Rundel, P. W., J. R. Ehleringer, et al. 1989. Stable Isotopes in Ecological Research. New York, Springer-Verlag.

Books on techniques

  • Handbook of stable isotope analytical techniques, (2004) (Ed. by P.A. de Groot), pp. 177-202. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

  • Knowles, R. and T.H. Blackburn. (1993) Nitrogen Isotope Techniques. Academic Press, Inc., New York.

  • Coleman, D. C. and B. Fry (1991). Carbon Isotope Techniques, Academic Press, Inc.

Stable isotopes in plant studies

  • Handley, L.L., Raven, J.A., (1992) The use of natural abundance of nitrogen isotopes in plant physiology and ecology. Plant, Cell and Environment, 15, 965-985.

  • Nadelhoffer, K.J., Fry, B., (1994) Nitrogen isotope studies in forest ecosystems. In: K.L.a.R.H. Michener (Ed.), Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science (Ed. by K.L.a.R.H. Michener), pp. 22-44. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

  • Araus, J.L., Amaro, T., Zuhair, Y., Nachit, M.M., (1997) Effect of leaf structure and water status on carbon isotope discrimination in field-grown durum wheat. Plant, Cell and Environment, 20, 1484–1494.

    Buchmann, N., Brooks, J.R., Rapp, K.D., Ehleringer, J.R., (1996) Carbon isotope composition of C4 grasses is influenced by light and water supply. Plant, Cell and Environment, 19, 392-402.

    Buchmann, N., Guehl, J.-M., Barigah, T.S., Ehleringer, J.R., (1997a) Interseasonal comparison of CO2 concentrations, isotopic composition, and carbon dynamics in an Amazonian rainforest (French Guiana). Oecologia, 110, 120-131.

    Buchmann, N., Kao, W.-Y., Ehleringer, J., (1997b) Influence of stand structure on carbon-13 of vegetation, soils and canopy air within deciduous and evergreen forests in Utah, United States. Oecologia, 110, 109-119.

    Delwiche, C.C., Steyn, P.L., (1970) Nitrogen isotope fractionation in soils and microbial reactions. Environmental Science and Technology, 4(11), 929-935.

    Derrien, D., Baldesdent, J., Moral, C., Santaella, C., (2003) Measurement of the 13C/12C ratio of soil-plant individual sugars by gas chromatography/combustion/isotope-ratio mass spectrometry of silylated derivatives. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 17, 2626-2631.

    Ehleringer, J.R., Field, C.B., Lin, Z.F., Kuo, C.Y., (1986) Leaf carbon isotope ratio and mineral composition in subtropical plants along an irradiance cline. Oecologia, 70, 520-526.

    Feng, X., Epstein, S., (1995) Carbon isotopes from arid environments and implications for reconstructing atmospheric CO2 concentration. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 59, 2599-2608.

    Fogel, M.L., Cifuentes, L.A., (1993) Isotope fractionation during primary production. In: M.H. Engel, S.A. Macko (Eds.), Organic Geochemistry (Ed. by M.H. Engel, S.A. Macko), pp. 73-98. Plenum Press, New York.

    Gillon, J.S., Borland, A.M., Harwood, K.G., Roberts, A., Broadmeadow, M.S.J., Griffiths, H., (1998) Carbon isotope discrimination in terrestrial plants: carboxylations and decarboxylations. In: H. Griffiths (Ed.), Stable Isotopes (Ed. by H. Griffiths), pp. 111-131. BIOS Scientific Publishers Ltd, Oxford.

    Griffiths, H., (1992) Carbon isotope discrimination and the integration of carbon assimilation pathways in terrestrial CAM plants. Plant, Cell and Environment, 15, 1051-1062.

    Handley, L.L., Raven, J.A., (1992) The use of natural abundance of nitrogen isotopes in plant physiology and ecology. Plant, Cell and Environment, 15, 965-985.

    Henderson, S.A., von Cammerer, S., Farquhar, G.D., (1992) Short-term measurements of carbon isotope discrimination in several C4 species. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 19, 263-285.

    Knowles, R., Blackburn, T.H., (1993) Nitrogen Isotope Techniques. In: Isotopic Techniques in Plant, Soil, and Aquatic Biology (Ed. by E.A. Paul, J.M. Melillo), pp. 311. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego.

    Lajtha, K., Marshall, J.D., (1994) Sources of variation in the stable isotopic composition of plants. In: K.a.R.M.M. Lajtha (Ed.), Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science (Ed. by K.a.R.M.M. Lajtha), pp. 1-21. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

    Lipp, J.P.T., T. Edwards, Y. Waisel, and D. Yakir, (1996) Climatic effects of the d18O and the d13C of cellulose in the desert tree Tamarix jordanis. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 60, 3305-3309.

    Mariotti, A., Germon, J.C., Hubert, P., Kaiser, P., Letolle, R., Tardieux, A., Tardieux, P., (1981) Experimental determination of nitrogen kinetic isotope fractionation: Some principles; illustration for the dentrification and nitrification processes. Plant Soil, 62, 413-430.

    Medina, E., Troughton, J.H., (1974) Dark CO2 fixation and the carbon isotope ratio in Bromeliaceae. Plant Science Letters, 2, 357-362.

    Mordelet, O., Cook, G., Abbradie, L., Grably, M., and Mariotti, A., (1996) Natural 15N abundance of vegetation and soil in the Kapalga savanna, Australia. Australian Journal of Ecology, 21, 336-340.

    O'Leary, M.H., (1981) Carbon isotope fractionation in plants. Phytochemistry, 20(4), 553-567.

    O'Leary, M.H., (1988) Carbon isotopes in photosynthesis. BioScience, 38(5), 328-336.

    Park, R., Epstein, S., (1961) Metabolic fractionation of C13 and C12 in plants. Plant Physiology, 36, 133-138.

    Patterson, T.B., Guy, R.D., Dang, Q.L., (1997) Whole plant nitrogen- and water-relations traits, and their associated trade-offs, in adjacent muskeg and upland boreal spruce species. Oecologia, 110, 160-168.

    Peisker, M., Henderson, S.A., (1992) Carbon: terrestrial C4 plants. Plant, Cell and Environment, 15, 987-1004.

    Penuelas, J., Azcon-Bieto, J., (1992) Changes in leaf D13C of herbarium plant species during the last 3 centuries of CO2 increase. Plant, Cell and Environment, 15, 485-489.

    Rundel, P.W., Sharifi, M.R., (1993) Carbon Isotope Discrimination and Resource Availability in the Desert Shrub Larrea tridentata. In: J.R. Ehleringer, A.E. Hall, G.D. Farquhar (Eds.), Stable Isotopes and Plant Carbon-Water Relations (Ed. by J.R. Ehleringer, A.E. Hall, G.D. Farquhar), pp. 173-185. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego.

    Sparks, J.P., Ehleringer, J.R., (1997) Leaf carbon isotope discrimination and nitrogen content for riparian trees along elevational transects. Oecologia, 109, 362-267.

    Teece, M.A., Tuross, N., Fogel, M.L., (1999) Signals of environmental change preserved in herbarium specimens using compound specific isotope anlaysis of plant lipids. Plant Cell and Environment, Submitted.

    Troughton, J.H., Card, K.A., (1975) Temperature effects on the carbon-isotope ratio of C3, C4 and crassulacean-acid-metabolism (CAM) plants. Planta, 123, 185-190.

    van der Merwe, N.J., Medina, E., (1991) The canopy effect, carbon isotope ratios and foodwebs in Amazonia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 18, 249-259.

    van Dongen, B.E., Schouten, S., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., (2002) Carbon isotope variability in monosaccharides and lipids of aquatic algae and terrestrial plants. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 232, 83-92.

    Wainwright, S.C., Haney, J.C., Kerr, C., Golovkin, A.N., Flint, M.V., (1998) Utilization of nitrogen derived from seabird guano by terrestrial and marine plants at St. Paul, Pribilof Islands, Bering Sea, Alaska. Marine Biology, 131, 63-71.

Some articles on stable isotopes and food webs (there are many more)

  • Vander Zanden, J.M., J. M. Casselman, and J. B. Rasmussen, (1999) Stable isotope evidence for the food web consequences of species invasions in lakes. Nature, 401, 464-467.

  • Gannes, L.Z., D. M. O'Brien, and C. M. Del Rio, (1997) Stable isotopes in animal ecology: assumptions, caveats, and a call for more laboratory experiments. Ecology, 78(4), 1271-1276.

  • Grey, J., and R. I. Jones, (1999) Carbon stable isotopes reveal complex trophic interactions in lake plankton. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 13, 1311-1314.

  • Wada, E., M. Terazaki, et al. 1987. 15N and 13C abundances in the Antarctic Ocean with emphasis on the biogeochemical structure of the food web. Deep-Sea Res., 34(5/6): 829-841.

  • Adams, T.S., Sterner, R.W., (2000) The effect of dietary nitrogen content on trophic level 15N enrichment. Limnology and Oceanography, 45, 601-607.

  • Fantle, M.S., Dittel, A.I., Schwalm, S.M., Epifanio, C.E., Fogel, M.L., (1999) A food web analysis of the juvenile blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, using stable isotopes in whole animals and individual amino acids. Oecologia, 120, 416-426.

  • Fry, B., (1991) Stable isotope diagrams of freshwater food webs. Ecology, 72(6), 2293–2297.

  • Gannes, L.Z., del Rio, C.M., Koch, P., (1998) Natural abundance variations in stable isotopes and their potential uses in animal physiological ecology. Comp. Biochem. Physiol., 119A, 725-737.

  • Gannes, L.Z., O'Brien, D.M., Del Rio, C.M., (1997) Stable isotopes in animal ecology: Assumptions, caveats, and a call for moe laboratory experiments. Ecology, 78, 1271-1276.

  • Grey, J., Jones, R.I., Sleep, D., (2000) Stable isotope analysis of the origins of zooplankton carbon in lakes of differing trophic state. Oecologia, 123, 232-240.

  • Griffiths, H., (1998) Stable Isotopes: integration of biological, ecological and geochemical processes. BIOS Scientific Publishers, Oxford.

  • Kelly, J.F., (1999) Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in the study of avian amd mammalian ecology. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 78, 1-27.

  • Keough, J.R., Sierszen, M.E., Hagley, C.A., (1996) Analysis of a Lake Superior coastal food web with stable isotope techniques. Limnol. Oceanogr., 41(1), 136–146.

  • Teece, M.A., Fogel, M.L., (2004) Preparation of ecological and biochemical samples for isotope analysis. In: P.A. de Groot (Ed.), Handbook of stable isotope analytical techniques, 1 (Ed. by P.A. de Groot), pp. 177-202. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

  • McClelland, J.W., Holl, C.W., Montoya, J.P., (2003) Relating low d15N values of zooplankton to N2-fixation in the tropical North Atlantic: insights provided by stable isotope ratios of amino acids. Deep-Sea Research, 50, 849-861.

  • Michener, R.H., Schell, D.M., (1994) Stable isotope ratios as tracers in marine aquatic food webs. In: K. Lajtha, R.H. Michener (Eds.), Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science (Ed. by K. Lajtha, R.H. Michener), pp. 138–157.

  • Nadelhoffer, K.J., Fry, B., (1994) Nitrogen isotope studies in forest ecosystems. In: K.L.a.R.H. Michener (Ed.), Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science (Ed. by K.L.a.R.H. Michener), pp. 22-44. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

  • Nelson, D.E., Angerbjorn, A., Liden, K., Turk, I., (1998) Stable isotopes and the metabolism of the European cave bear. Oecologia, 116, 177-181.

  • Peterson, B.J., Fry, B., (1987) Stable isotopes in ecosystem studies. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 18, 293-320.

  • McClelland, J.W., Valiela, I., Michener, R.H., (1997) Nitrogen-stable isotope signatures in estuarine food webs: A record of increasing urbanization in coastal watersheds. Limnology and Oceanography, 42, 930-937.

  • Feuchtmayr, H., and J. Grey, (2003) Effect of preparation and preservation procedures on carbon and nitrogen stable isotope determinations from zooplankton. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 17, 2605-2610.

  • France, R.L., (1995) Carbon isotopic variability in the composite pelagic foodweb of four oligotrophic lakes: feeding diversity or metabolic fractionations? Journal of Plankton Research, 17(10), 1993-1997.

  • Grey, J., R. I. Jones, and D. Sleep, (2000) Stable isotope analysis of the origins of zooplankton carbon in lakes of differing trophic state. Oecologia, 123, 232-240.

  • Hobson, K.A., R. T. Alisauskas, and R. G. Clark, (1993) Stable-nitrogen isotope enrichment in avian tissues due to fasting and nutritional stress: implications for isotopic analyses of diet. The Condor, 95, 388-394.

  • Keough, J.R., M. E. Sierszen, and C. A. Hagley, (1996) Analysis of a Lake Superior coastal food web with stable isotope techniques. Limnology and Oceanography, 41(1), 136-146.

  • Kling, G.W., and B. Fry, (1992) Stable isotopes and planktonic structure in Arctic lakes. Ecology, 73(2), 561-566.

  • Matthews, B., and A. Mazumder, (2003) Compositional and interlake variability of zooplankton affect baseline stable isotope signatures. Limnology and Oceanography, 48(5), 1977-1987.

  • Peterson, B.J., and B. Fry, (1987) Stable isotopes in ecosystem studies. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 18, 293-320.

  • Post, D.M., (2002) Using stable isotopes to estimate trophic position: models, metholds, and assumptions. Ecology, 83(3), 703-718.

  • Sweeting, C.J., N. V. C. Polunin, and S. Jennings, (2006) Effects of chemical lipid extraction and arithmetic lipid correction on stable carbon isotope ratios of fish tissues. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 20, 595-601.

  • Vander Zanden, J.M., J. M. Casselman, and J. B. Rasmussen, (1999) Stable isotope evidence for the food web consequences of species invasions in lakes. Nature, 401, 464-467.

  • Wada, E., H. Mizutani, and M. Minagawa, (1991) The use of stable isotopes for food web analysis. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 30(3), 361-371.

  • Yoshioka, T., and E. Wada, (1994) A stable isotope study on seasonal food web dynamics in a eutrophic lake. Ecology, 75(3), 835-846.

Other Suggested Reading

  • McClelland, J. W., I. Valiela, et al. 1997. Nitrogen-stable isotope signatures in estuarine food webs: a record of increasing urbanization in coastal watersheds. Limn. Ocean., 42(5): 930-937.

  • Molton-Barrett, R., G. Triadafilopoulos, R. Michener, and D. Gologorsky. 1993. Serum 13C-Bicarbonate in the assessment of Gastric Helicobacter pylori Urease Activity. Am. J. Gastero., 88: 369-374.

  • Nadelhoffer, K. J. and B. Fry. 1988. Controls on natural nitrogen-15 and carbon-13 abundances in forest soil organic matter. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 52: 1633-1640. 

  • Nagy, K. A. 1987. Field metabolic rate and food requirement scaling in mammals and birds. Ecol. Mono., 57(2): 111-128.

  • Owens, N. J. P. 1987. Natural variations in 15N in the marine environment. Advan. in Mar. Biol., 24: 389-451.

  • Sigman, D.M., M.A. Altabet, R. Michener, D.C. McCorkle, B. Fry and R.M. Holmes. 1997. Natural abundance-level measurement of the nitrogen isotopic composition of oceanic nitrate: an adaptation of the ammonia diffusion method. Mar. Chem., 57:227-242.

  • Sweeny, R. E., E. K. Kalil, et al. 1980. Characterization of domestic and industrial sewage in southern California coastal sediments using nitrogen, carbon, sulfur and uranium tracers. Mar. Environ. Res., 3:225-243.

  • Bearhop, S., Thompson, D.R., Waldron, S., (1999) Stable isotopes indicate the extent of freshwater feeding by cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo shot at inland fisheries in England. The Journal of Applied Ecology, 36, 75-84.

  • Bigeleisen, J., (1965) Chemistry of isotopes. Science, 147(3657), 463-471.

  • Bigeleisen, J., Mayer, M.G., (1947) Calculation of equilibrium constants for isotopic exchange reactions. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 15(5), 261-267.

  • Boutton, T.W., Klein, P.D., (1984) Stable carbon isotope ratios as indicators of prehistoric human diets. In: J.R. Turnlund, P.E. Johnson (Eds.), Stable Isotopes in Nutrition (Ed. by J.R. Turnlund, P.E. Johnson), pp. 191-204.

  • Brenner, M., Whitmore, T.J., Curtis, J.H., Hodell, D.A., Schelske, C.L., (1999) Stable isotope (d13C and d15N) signatures of sedimented organic matter as indicators of historic lake trophic state. Journal of Paleolimnology, 22, 205-221.

  • Carriquiry, J.D., Risk, M.J., Schwarcz, H.P., (1994) Stable isotope geochemistry of corals from Costa Rica as proxy indicator of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 58, 335-351.

  • Coffin, R.B., Cifuentes, L.A., (1999) Stable isotope analysis of carbon cycling in the Perdido Estuary, Florida. Estuaries, 22(4), 917-926.

  • Dansgaard, W., (1964) Stable isotopes in precipitation. Tellus, 16, 346-468.

  • Ehleringer, J.R., (1993) Carbon and Water Relations in Desert PLants: An Isotopic Perspective. In: J.R. Ehleringer, A.E. Hall, G.D. Farquhar (Eds.), Stable Isotopes and Plant Carbon-Water Relations (Ed. by J.R. Ehleringer, A.E. Hall, G.D. Farquhar), pp. 155-172. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego.

  • Gillon, J.S., Borland, A.M., Harwood, K.G., Roberts, A., Broadmeadow, M.S.J., Griffiths, H., (1998) Carbon isotope discrimination in terrestrial plants: carboxylations and decarboxylations. In: H. Griffiths (Ed.), Stable Isotopes (Ed. by H. Griffiths), pp. 111-131. BIOS Scientific Publishers Ltd, Oxford.

  • Guiles Ellis, K., Mullins, H.T., Patterson, W.P., (2004) Deglacial to middle Holocene (16,000 to 6000 calendar years BP) climate change in the northeastern United States inferred from multi-proxy stable isotope data, Senece Lake, New York. Journal of Paleolimnology, 31, 343-361.

  • Herman, P.M.J., Middelburg, J.J., Widdows, J., Lucas, C.H., Heip, C.H.R., (2000) Stable isotopes as trophic tracers: combining field sampling and manipulative labelling of food resources for macrobenthos. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 204, 79-92.

  • Hobson, K.A., Clark, R.G., (1992) Assessing avian diets using stable isotopes II:  factors influencing diet-tissue fractionation. The Condor, 94, 189-197.

  • Johnson, B.J., Fogel, M.L., Miller, G.H., (1998) Stable isotopes in modern ostrich eggshell:  a calibration for paleoenvironmental applications in semi-arid regions of southern Africa. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 62, 2451-2461.

  • Jones, D.S., Williams, D.F., Romanek, C.S., (1986) Life history of symbiont-bearing giant clams from stable isotope profiles. Science, 231, 46-48.

  • Jones, R.I., Grey, J., Sleep, D., Arvola, L., (1999) Stable isotope analysis of zooplankton carbon nutrition in humic lakes. Oikos, 86, 97-104.

  • Knowles, R., Blackburn, T.H., (1993) Nitrogen Isotope Techniques. In: Isotopic Techniques in Plant, Soil, and Aquatic Biology (Ed. by E.A. Paul, J.M. Melillo), pp. 311. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego.

  • Koch, P.L., Fogel, M.L., Tuross, N., (1992) Tracing the diets of fossil animals using stable isotopes, in Methods in Ecology. In: K. Lajtha, B. Michener (Eds.), Methods in Ecology (Ed. by K. Lajtha, B. Michener).

  • Lajtha, K., Michener, R.H., (1994) Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

  • Macko, S.A., Ostrom, N.E., (1994) Pollution studies using stable isotopes. In: K.L.a.R.H. Michener (Ed.), Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science (Ed. by K.L.a.R.H. Michener), pp. 45–62.

  • Rieley, G., Van Dover, C.L., Hedrick, D.B., Eglinton, G., (1999) Trophic ecology of Rimicaris exoculata: a combined lipid abundance/stable isotope approach. Marine Biology, 133, 495-499.

  • Schoeller, D.A., Minagawa, M., Slater, R., Kaplan, I.R., (1986) Stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen in the contemporary North American human food web. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 18, 159-170.

  • Schoeninger, M.J., (1989) Reconstructing prehistoric human diet. In: T.D. Price (Ed.), The Chemistry of Prehistoric Human Bone (Ed. by T.D. Price), pp. 38-67. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.