CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine & Freshwater Research   
Marine & Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the Aquatic Sciences
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Virtual Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review an Article
Referee Guidelines
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 64(8)

Sample acidification effects on carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of macrofauna from a Zostera noltii bed

Anna-Maria Vafeiadou A C, Helena Adão B, Marleen De Troch A and Tom Moens A

A Ghent University, Marine Biology Section, Department of Biology, Krijgslaan 281/ S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
B University of Évora, School of Sciences and Technology, Biology, CO- CIEMAR c/o NemaLab, Apartado 94, 7002-554 Évora, Portugal.
C Corresponding author. Email: am.vafeiadou@gmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research 64(8) 741-745 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF12169
Submitted: 26 June 2012  Accepted: 4 April 2013   Published: 21 June 2013

PDF (131 KB) $25
 Export Citation

Acidification treatment has been used in most stable isotope studies to eliminate inorganic non-dietary carbon, allowing δ13C measurement of organic carbon needed for trophic studies. Because only limited information about the acidification effects on isotopic ratios exists in the literature, we provide an assessment of such effects for a wide range of benthic macroinvertebrates from estuarine intertidal sediments with sparse Zostera noltii Hornem. vegetation. Our results revealed only few significant δ13C shifts for macrobenthos; however, δ13C decrease after acidification was substantial for several species. We conclude that acidification is not necessary for removing calcium carbonate in a majority of macrobenthos, but we also suggest preliminary testing before deciding it can be omitted. The magnitude of the δ15N shifts was substantial for some species and variability in δ15N values of replicate acidified samples exceeded that of non-acidified samples. Therefore, sample acidification should be avoided for δ15N determination. Moreover, acidification effects vary considerably among species belonging to a single class, rendering generalisations from single-species information potentially spurious.

Additional keywords: decarbonation, inorganic carbon, macrobenthos, sample treatment, seagrass.


Barrow, L. M., Bjorndal, K. A., and Reich, K. (2008). Effects of preservation method on stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 81, 688–693.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Bock, M. J., and Miller, D. C. (1999). Particle selectivity, gut volume, and the response to a step change in diet for deposit-feeding polychaetes. Limnology and Oceanography 44, 1132–1138.
CrossRef |

Boecklen, W. J., Yarnes, C. T., Cook, B. A., and James, A. C. (2011). On the use of stable isotopes in trophic ecology. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 42, 411–440.
CrossRef |

Bosley, K. L., and Wainright, S. C. (1999). Effects of preservatives and acidification on stable isotope ratios (15N : 14N, 13C : 12C) of two species of marine animals. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56, 2181–2185.
CrossRef |

Bunn, S. E., Loneragan, N. R., and Kempster, M. A. (1995). Effects of acid washing on stable isotope ratios of C and N in penaid shrimp and seagrass: implications for food web studies using multiple stable isotopes. Limnology and Oceanography 40, 622–625.
CrossRef | CAS |

Carabel, S., Godínez-Domínguez, E., Verísmo, P., Fernández, L., and Freire, J. (2006). An assessment of sample processing methods for stable isotope analyses of marine food webs. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 336, 254–261.
CrossRef | CAS |

Craig, H. (1953). The geochemistry of the stable carbon isotopes. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 3, 53–92.
CrossRef | CAS |

DeNiro, M. J., and Epstein, S. (1978). Influence of diet on the distribution of carbon isotopes in animals. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 42, 495–506.
CrossRef | CAS |

Fantle, M. S., Dittel, A. I., Schwalm, S. M., Epifanio, C. E., and 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.
CrossRef |

Goering, J., Alexander, V., and Haubenstock, N. (1990). Seasonal variability of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of organisms in a North Pacific Bay. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 30, 239–260.
CrossRef | CAS |

Jacob, U., Mintenbeck, K., Brey, T., Knust, R., and Beyer, K. (2005). Stable isotope food web studies: a case for standardized sample treatment. Marine Ecology Progress Series 287, 251–253.
CrossRef |

Jaschinski, S., Hansen, T., and Sommer, U. (2008). Effects of acidification in multiple stable isotope analyses. Limnology and Oceanography, Methods 6, 12–15.
CrossRef | CAS |

Kang, C. K., Kim, J. B., Lee, K. S., Kim, J. B., Lee, P. Y., and Hong, J. S. (2003). Trophic importance of benthic microalgae to macrozoobenthos in coastal bay systems in Korea: dual stable C and N isotope analyses. Marine Ecology Progress Series 259, 79–92.
CrossRef | CAS |

Kennedy, P., Kennedy, H., and Papadimitriou, S. (2005). The effect of acidification on the determination of organic carbon, total nitrogen and their stable isotopic composition in algae and marine sediment. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 19, 1063–1068.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Kolasinski, J., Rogers, K., and Frouin, P. (2008). Effects of acidification on carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes of benthic macrofauna from a tropical coral reef. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 22, 2955–2960.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Mateo, M. A., Serrano, O., Serrano, L., and Michener, R. H. (2008). Effects of sample preparation on stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen in marine invertebrates: implications for food web studies using stable isotopes. Oecologia 157, 105–115.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Murtaugh, P. A. (1984). Variable gut residence time: problems in inferring feeding rate from stomach fullness of a mysid crustacean. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 41, 1287–1293.
CrossRef |

Ng, J. S. S., Wai, T.-C., and Williams, G. A. (2007). The effects of acidification on the stable isotope signatures of marine algae and molluscs. Marine Chemistry 103, 97–102.
CrossRef | CAS |

Peterson, B. J., and Fry, B. (1987). Stable isotopes in ecosystem studies. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 18, 293–320.
CrossRef |

Pinnegar, J. K., and Polunin, N. V. C. (1999). Differential fractionation of δ13C and δ15N among fish tissue: implications for the study of trophic interactions. Functional Ecology 13, 225–231.
CrossRef |

Ryba, S., and Burgess, R. (2002). Effects of sample preparation on the measurement of organic carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen concentrations in marine sediments. Chemosphere 48, 139–147.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Sarakinos, H. C., Johnson, M. L., and Vander Zanden, M. J. (2002). A synthesis of tissue-preservation effects on carbon and nitrogen stable isotope signatures. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80, 381–387.
CrossRef |

Schubert, C. J., and Nielsen, B. (2000). Effects of decarbonation treatments on δ13C values in marine sediments. Marine Chemistry 72, 55–59.
CrossRef | CAS |

Serrano, O., Serrano, L., Mateo, M. A., Colombini, I., Chelazzi, L., Gagnarli, E., and Fallaci, M. (2008). Acid washing effect on elemental and isotopic composition of whole beach arthropods: implications for food web studies using stable isotopes. Acta Oecologica 34, 89–96.
CrossRef |

Søreide, J. E., Tamelander, T., Hop, H., Hobson, K. A., and Johansen, I. (2006). Sample preparation effects on stable C and N isotope values: a comparison of methods in Arctic marine food web studies. Marine Ecology Progress Series 328, 17–28.
CrossRef |

Yokoyama, H., Tamaki, A., Harada, K., Shimoda, K., Koyama, K., and Ishihi, Y. (2005). Variability of diet-tissue isotopic fractionation in estuarine macrobenthos. Marine Ecology Progress Series 296, 115–128.
CrossRef | CAS |

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016