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Flotsam samples can help explain the d13C and d15N values of invertebrate resting stages in lake sediment

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Maarten van Hardenbroek van AmmerstolORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The stable isotopic composition of chitinous remains of Cladocera (water fleas) and freshwater Bryozoa (moss animals) preserved in lake sediment records can provide supporting insights into past environmental and ecosystem changes in lakes. Here we explore whether analyses of these remains isolated from lake flotsam can provide information on the driving variables affecting the isotopic composition of these remains. We collected flotsam in 53 lakes and found enough material in 33 lakes to measure the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (expressed as d13C and d15N values, respectively) of resting stages. These values were compared with lake characteristics, water chemistry measurements, and the isotopic composition of sedimentary organic matter (SOM) in the lakes. Mean δ13C values of cladoceran ephippia and SOM were correlated and both were also negatively correlated with deep water methane concentrations and indicators of lake stratification. This supports the findings of previous studies that methane-derived carbon can provide a significant proportion of carbon entering planktonic food webs. Mean δ15N values of bryozoan statoblasts and SOM were correlated, suggesting that both reflect the δ15N values of phytoplankton. Our results provide information on how environmental variables in lakes can influence the d13C and d15N values in resting stages, but flotsam samples can also potentially be used to assess seasonal stable isotope variability of resting stages. Both types of information are important to improve palaeoenvironmental interpretations of stable isotope records based on these remains in lake sediments.

Publication metadata

Author(s): van Hardenbroek M, Rinta P, Wooller MJ, Schilder J, Stötter T, Heiri OM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Quaternary Science Reviews

Year: 2018

Volume: 189

Pages: 187-196

Print publication date: 01/06/2018

Online publication date: 25/04/2018

Acceptance date: 06/04/2018

Date deposited: 21/04/2018

ISSN (print): 0277-3791

ISSN (electronic): 1873-457X

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.04.008


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