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Comparison of the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of gill and white muscle tissue of fish
Svensson, E.; Freitas, V.; Schouten, S.; Middelburg, J.J.; van der Veer, H.W.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2014). Comparison of the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of gill and white muscle tissue of fish. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 457: 173-179.

Additional info:
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    d13C; d15N; Fish gills; Fish muscle; Lipid correction; Stable isotopes

Authors  Top 
  • Middelburg, J.J., more
  • van der Veer, H.W., more
  • Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., more

    The potential use of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (d13C, d15N) of fish gills for studies on fish feeding ecology was evaluated by comparing the d13C and d15N of gill tissue with the more commonly used white muscle tissue. To account for the effect of lipid content on the d13C signatures, a study-specific lipid correction model based on C:N ratios was developed and applied to the bulk d13C data. For the majority of species in the study, we found no significant difference in d13C values between gill and muscle tissue after correction, but several species showed a small (0.3–1.4‰) depletion of 13C in white muscle compared to gill tissue. The average species difference in d15N between muscle and gill tissue ranged from - 0.2 to 1.6‰ for the different fish species with muscle tissue generally more enriched in 15N. The d13C values of muscle and gill were strongly linearly correlated (R2 = 0.85) over a large isotopic range (13‰), suggesting that both tissues can be used to determine long-term feeding or migratory habits of fish. Muscle and gill tissue bulk d15N values were also strongly positively correlated (R2 = 0.76) but with a small difference between muscle and gill tissue. This difference indicates that the bulk d15N of the two tissue types may be influenced by different isotopic turnover rates or a different composition of amino acids.

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