Inherent variation in carbon and nitrogen isotopic assimilation in the freshwater macro-invertebrate Cherax destructor

Debashish Mazumder*, Li Wen, Mathew P. Johansen, Tsuyoshi Kobayashi, Neil Saintilan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Individual variability in diet source selection has often been cited as the main factor for intra-specific variation of isotopic signatures among food-web consumers. We conducted a laboratory study to test how well the individual variability of the δ13C and δ15N ratios in the muscle of an omnivore consumer (yabby: Cherax destructor) corresponded to the variability of various diet types and diet combinations. We found that C. destructor muscle isotope signatures varied in concert with the composition of single-source diets, and that this variability was low. However, when fed the same proportional mixture of multiple diet sources, comparatively high isotopic variability was observed among specimens. Results suggest that a substantial component of isotopic variability in wild populations may be owing to inherent differences in uptake, absorption, and sequestration among individuals, which is distinct from behaviourally driven individualised diet selection. Considering the potential of such individual variability in assimilation to be present in many different consumer populations, we suggest further testing for a range of species and inclusion of this source of variation, for interpretation of isotopic data for trophic ecology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1928-1937
    Number of pages10
    JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
    Volume67
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Keywords

    • individual dietary behaviour
    • intra-specific variation
    • stable isotopes
    • trophic ecology

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