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Acid washing effect on elemental and isotopic composition of whole beach arthropods: implications for food web studies using stables isotopes

AuthorsSerrano, Oscar ; Serrano, Laura ; Mateo, Miguel Ángel ; Colombini, Isabella; Chelazzi, Lorenzo; Gagnarli, Elena; Fallaci, Mario
Isotopic ratios
Issue Date3-Jun-2008
CitationActa Oecologica 31 (2008): 89-96
AbstractInorganic carbon removal through acidification is a common practice prior to isotopic analysis of macroinvertebrate samples. We have experimentally tested the effect of acidification on the elemental and isotopic composition of a range of beach arthropod species. Acidification resulted in a significant depletion of 7.7 % and 1.2 % in average for carbon and nitrogen, respectively. This highlights that acid washing affects other body compounds apart from carbonates. With a few exceptions, 13C and 15N showed no changes following the 1N HCl attack. Our results strongly suggest that samples with a presumable high CaCO3 content, result impoverished in 13C as a consequence of acidification, while those suspected to be carbonate-free are not significantly affected. Regarding 15N values, it seemed that only high carbonate species may be 15N impoverished when treated with HCl. It is recommended to acidify only carbonate-rich samples prior 13C analyses as a standard protocol.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2008.04.002
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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