What is it about?

Isotopic niche is assumed to be a valid proxy for trophic niche in ecology. We have shown for the first time that this assumption is not correct. When diet is held constant, the isotopic niche metrics vary significantly and reflect animal growth and metabolic rate.

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Why is it important?

These findings fundamentally challenge how the isotopic niche is interpreted in field studies when variation in growth status of the consumers is unknown.


It is amazing that this simple assumption has never been tested given the avalanche of studies relying on the isotopic niche as the only evidence of the diet variability.

Elena Gorokhova
Stockholm University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Individual growth as a non-dietary determinant of the isotopic niche metrics, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, October 2017, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/2041-210x.12887.
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