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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2023

Making the Invisible Visible? Using Stable Isotope Analysis to Detect Indirect Toxicant Effects

Bollinger, Eric; Zubrod, Jochen P. P.; Englert, Dominic; Pollitt, Annika; Fuss, Bastian; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco


Although stable isotope analysis (SIA) is widely used to address ecological research questions, its application in an ecotoxicological context has been limited. Recent studies have proposed an effect of chemical stressors on an organism's isotope signature, questioning the use of SIA in food webs impacted by toxicants. Against this background, the present study investigates 1) whether trophic enrichment factors (TEFs; i.e., the offset in stable isotope signatures of a consumer to its diet) are altered by the neonicotinoid thiacloprid, and 2) whether tracking toxicant effects on an organism's diet composition (i.e., indirect effect) with SIA fits direct observations of consumption. To address the former, the amphipod Gammarus fossarum (Koch) was exposed to three levels (0, 0.75, and 5 mu g L-1) of thiacloprid and fed with either black alder leaves or Baetis rhodani (Pictet) larvae over 6 weeks (n = 35). The thiacloprid-induced changes in TEFs that we found were statistically significant but small compared with other factors (e.g., resource quality, consumer, and physiological condition) and thus likely of minor importance. To address the latter issue, gammarids were exposed to two levels of thiacloprid (0 and 0.75 mu g L-1) and fed with either black alder leaves, live B. rhodani larvae, or both over 2 weeks (n = 10). Dietary proportions as suggested by SIA were indeed in agreement with those derived from direct observation of consumption. The present study consequently suggests that SIA is as a robust tool to detect indirect toxicant effects especially if TEFs are assessed in parallel. Environ Toxicol Chem 2022;00:1-9. (c) 2022 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC.


Indirect effects; mixing models; stable isotope analysis; thiacloprid; trophic enrichment factor

Publicerad i

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
2023, Volym: 42, nummer: 9, sidor: 1937-1945
Utgivare: WILEY

    UKÄ forskningsämne

    Environmental Sciences

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