Compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids: A tool to unravel complex symbiotic trophic relationships

Sabadel, AJM; Woodward, EMS; Van Hale, R; Frew, RD. 2016 Compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids: A tool to unravel complex symbiotic trophic relationships. Food Webs, 6. 9-18. 10.1016/j.fooweb.2015.12.003

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fooweb.2015.12.003

Abstract/Summary

Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of amino acids (δ13CAA and δ15NAA) have been recently used to unravel trophic relationships in aquatic and terrestrial environments. However, none have studied the specific case of a symbiotic relationship. Here we use the stable isotope ratios of amino acids (AAs) to investigate the link between a scarab larva (Pericoptustruncatus) and its mite guest (Mumulaelaps, Mesostigmata: Laelapidae: Hypoaspidini). Five scenarios for the relationship between larva and mite were proposed and δ13CAA and δ15NAA respective data and patterns helped eliminate those that were inconsistent. The calculated gap of two trophic levels ruled out a parasitic trophic relationship scenario. The trophic relationship between P. truncatus was shown to most likely be commensalistic with the mites feeding on the larva's castings. Alongside this study, a comparison with the stable isotope bulk analysis method was made and demonstrated that the AA method brings a significant refinement to the results by providing a means of determining absolute tropic level without the need for prior knowledge of the isotopic composition of primary source material.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Biology
Chemistry
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Zoology
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: Mrs Julia Crocker
Date made live: 29 Mar 2016 10:36
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:15
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6920

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