Dietary Variation in Arctic Foxes (Alopex-Lagopus) - an Analysis of Stable Carbon Isotopes
1994 (English)In: Oecologia, Vol. 99, no 3-4, 226-232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We used stable carbon isotopes to analyse individual variation in arctic fox diet. We extracted collagen from bones (the lower jaw), and measured stable carbon isotopes. The foxes came from three different localities: Iceland, where both microtines and reindeer are rare; west Greenland, where microtines are absent; and Sweden, where seat analyses showed the primary food to be microtine rodents and reindeer. The Icelandic samples included foxes from both coastal and inland habitats, the Swedish sample came from an inland area, and the Greenland sample from coastal sites. The spatial variation in the isotopic pattern followed a basic division between marine and terrestrial sources of protein. Arctic foxes from inland sites had delta(13)C values of -21.4 (Ice land) and -20.4 parts per thousand (Sweden), showing typical terrestrial values. Coastal foxes from Greenland had typical marine Values of -14.9 parts per thousand, whereas coastal foxes from Iceland had intermediate values of -17.7 parts per thousand. However, there was individual variation within each sample, probably caused by habitat heterogeneity and territoriality among foxes. The variation on a larger scale was related to the availability of different food items. These results were in accordance with other dietary analyses based on seat analyses. This is the first time that stable isotopes have been used to reveal individual dietary patterns. Our study also indicated that isotopic values can be used on a global scale.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1994. Vol. 99, no 3-4, 226-232 p.
CARBON ISOTOPES, ARCTIC FOX, DIET, BONE, COLLAGEN, BONE-COLLAGEN, TERRESTRIAL PROTEIN, NITROGEN ISOTOPES, FOOD WEBS, MARINE, ANIMALS, ECOSYSTEM, C-13/C-12, MAMMALS, TISSUES
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29668ISBN: 0029-8549OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-29668DiVA: diva2:234714
ISI Document Delivery No.: PP227 Times Cited: 45 Cited Reference Count: 452009-09-102009-09-102014-10-13Bibliographically approved