isotopic signature

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isotopic signature

isotopic signature

Ontogenetic differences in isotopic signatures and crop contents of Chaoborus

Origin of the ‘Ghost Plagioclase’ Signature in Galapagos Melt Inclusions: New Evidence from Pb Isotopes

Os Isotope Systematics in the Canary Islands and Madeira: Lithospheric Contamination and Mantle Plume Signatures

Crustal Trace Element and Isotopic Signatures in Garnet Pyroxenites from Garnet Peridotite Massifs from Lower Austria

Carbon Isotopic Signatures of Elytra Reflect Larval Diet in Luperine Rootworms (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Stable isotope analysis of marine feeding signatures of Atlantic salmon in the North Atlantic

Effects of water status and soil fertility on the C-isotope signature in Pinus radiata

Distinct isotopic signatures reveal effect of ecoregion on small mammals of Ghana

Stable-isotope signatures (δ13C and δ15N) of different tissues of Pinna nobilis Linnaeus, 1758 (Bivalvia): isotopic variations among tissues and between seasons

Zircon Crystal Morphology, Trace Element Signatures and Hf Isotope Composition as a Tool for Petrogenetic Modelling: Examples From Eastern Australian Granitoids

Nd and Sr Isotope Signatures of Fenites from Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania, and the Genetic Relationships between Nephelinites, Phonolites and Carbonatites

Genesis of Evolved Ocean Island Magmas by Deep- and Shallow-Level Basement Recycling, Socorro Island, Mexico: Constraints from Th and other Isotope Signatures

Inherited Palaeozoic and Mesozoic Rb–Sr Isotopic Signatures in Neogene Calc-alkaline Volcanics, Alborán Volcanic Province, SE Spain†

Dietary shifts in the copepod Temora longicornis during spring: evidence from stable isotope signatures, fatty acid biomarkers and feeding experiments

Life-history traits of the giant squid Architeuthis dux revealed from stable isotope signatures recorded in beaks

Shifts in stable-isotope signatures confirm parasitic relationship of freshwater mussel glochidia attached to host fish

Quantification of insect nitrogen utilization by the venus fly trap Dionaea muscipula catching prey with highly variable isotope signatures


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The relative proportions of certain isotopes in a sample of tissue, water, air, or other material. In biology the proportions of stable isotopes of common elements in organic matter, especially carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, can provide useful clues about growing conditions, lifestyle, and metabolism of the organism from which the material was derived. Differences in the relative tissue abundance of the natural stable isotopes of carbon (i.e. 12C and 13C), oxygen (16O and 18O), and nitrogen (14N and 15N) reflect their differing availability in the environment or in the diet or some form of selective metabolism (see isotopic discrimination) by the organism. So, for example, human hair samples with different isotopic signatures can indicate the dietary preferences of the individuals. A relatively high 12C/13C ratio indicates that a person has consumed chiefly food derived from C3 plants (e.g. wheat, rice, and potatoes), which concentrate the lighter 12C isotope (derived from carbon dioxide in air), whereas a 12C/13C ratio closer to that of air indicates a diet dominated by C4 plants (e.g. maize) or food derived from them (e.g. corn-fed beef). Moreover, the ratio of 14N/15N in body tissue changes at successive steps in food chains, with the proportion of 15N increasing at each step. Therefore vegetarians have a greater 14N/15N ratio than meat eaters.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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