Lookup NU author(s): Dr William Reid,
Dr Christopher Sweeting,
Dr Benjamin Wigham,
Professor Nick Polunin
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Aspects of between-individual trophic niche width can be explored through the isotopic niche concept. In many cases isotopic variability can be influenced by the scale of sampling and biological characteristics including body-size or sex. Sample size corrected (SEAc) and Bayesian (SEAb) standard ellipse areas and generalised least squares (GLS) models were used to explore the spatial variability of δ13C and δ15N in Kiwa tyleri (decapod), Gigantopelta chessoia (peltospirid gastropod) and Vulcanolepas scotiaensis (stalked barnacle) collected from three hydrothermal vent field sites (E2, E9N and E9S) on the East Scotia Ridge (ESR), Southern Ocean. SEAb only revealed spatial differences in isotopic niche area in male K. tyleri. However, the parameters used to draw the SEAc, eccentricity (E) and angle of the major SEAc axis to the x-axis (θ), indicated spatial differences in the relationships between δ13C and δ15N in all three species. The GLS models indicated that there were spatial differences in isotope-length trends, which were related to E and θ of the SEAc. This indicated that E and θ were potentially driven by underlying trophic and biological processes that varied with body size. Examination of the isotopic niches using standard ellipse areas and its parameters in conjunction with length-based analyses provided a means by which a proportion of the isotopic variability within each species could be described. We suggest that the parameters E and θ offer additional ecological insight that has so far been overlooked in isotopic niche studies.
Author(s): Reid WDK, Sweeting CJ, Wigham BD, McGill RAR, Polunin NVC
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Marine Ecology Progress Series
Online publication date: 19/01/2016
Acceptance date: 24/11/2015
ISSN (print): 0171-8630
ISSN (electronic): 1616-1599
Publisher: Inter-Research Science Centre
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