Stable Isotope Composition in Daphnia Is Modulated by Growth, Temperature, and Toxic Exposure: Implications for Trophic Magnification Factor Assessment
Number of Authors: 5
2015 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 49, no 11, 6934-6942 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The potential for using stable isotope analysis in risk assessment of environmental contaminants is crucially dependent on the predictability of the trophic transfer of isotopes in food webs. The relationship between contaminant levels and trophic position of consumers is widely used to assess biomagnification properties of various pollutants by establishing trophic magnification factors (TMF). However, contaminant-induced variability of the isotopic composition in biota is poorly understood. Here, we investigated effects of toxic exposure on delta N-15 and delta C-13 values in a consumer, with a main hypothesis that these effects would be largely mediated via growth rate and metabolic turnover of the test animals. The cladoceran Daphnia magna was used in two experiments that were conducted to manipulate growth and body condition (assayed as C:N ratio) by food availability and temperature (Experiment 1) and by toxic exposure to the pesticide lindane (Experiment 2). We found a significant negative effect of growth rate and a positive effect of temperature on the consumer-diet discrimination factor for delta N-15 and delta C-13, with no effects on the C:N ratio (Experiment 1). In lindane-exposed daphnids, a significant growth inhibition was observed, with concomitant increase in metabolic costs and significantly elevated size-specific delta N-15 and delta C-13 values. Moreover, a significantly higher incorporation of carbon relative to nitrogen, yet a concomitant decrease in C:N ratio was observed in the exposed animals. Together, these results have methodological implications for determining trophic positions and TMF in polluted environments, where elevated delta N-15 values would translate into overestimated trophic positions and underestimated TMF. Furthermore, altered delta C-13 values may lead to erroneous food-chain assignment of the consumer in question.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 49, no 11, 6934-6942 p.
Environmental Engineering Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119157DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00270ISI: 000355779100068OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-119157DiVA: diva2:845523