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dc.contributor.authorKershaw, Joanna Louise
dc.contributor.authorde la Vega, Camille
dc.contributor.authorJeffreys, Rachel
dc.contributor.authorFrie, Anne Kristine
dc.contributor.authorHaug, Tore
dc.contributor.authorMahaffey, Claire
dc.contributor.authorMettam, Colin
dc.contributor.authorStenson, Garry
dc.contributor.authorSmout, Sophie Caroline
dc.identifier.citationKershaw , J L , de la Vega , C , Jeffreys , R , Frie , A K , Haug , T , Mahaffey , C , Mettam , C , Stenson , G & Smout , S C 2021 , ' Compound specific isotope analyses of harp seal teeth : tools for trophic ecology reconstruction ' , Marine Ecology Progress Series , vol. 678 , pp. 211-225 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 275527369
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: a0f42e4b-3638-438e-a8bd-7d04fb1adb08
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85125440502
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000720333500015
dc.descriptionThis work resulted from the ARISE project (NE/P006035/1 awarded to CM and RJ, and NE/P00623X/1 awarded to SS), part of the Changing Arctic Ocean programme, funded by the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).en
dc.description.abstractAs sentinels of ecosystem health, high trophic level predators integrate information through all levels of the food web. Their tissues can be used to investigate spatiotemporal variability in foraging behaviour, and with the appropriate analytical methods and tools, archived samples can be used to reconstruct past trophic interactions. Harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) teeth collected in the 1990s from the Northwest Atlantic were analysed for bulk stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes (δ13Cbulk and δ15Nbulk), and compound specific stable nitrogen isotopes of amino acids (δ15NAA) for the first time. We developed a fine-scale, annual growth layer group (GLG) dentine sub-sampling method corresponding to their second and third year of life. In accordance with previous diet studies, while there was individual variability in δ15Nbulk, δ13Cbulk, and δ15NAA measurements, we did not detect significant differences in isotopic niche widths between males and females, or between GLGs. Relative trophic position was calculated as the baseline corrected δ15NAA values using trophic (glutamic acid) and source (phenylalanine and glycine) amino acids. Variability was measured between individuals in their relative trophic position, but within individual variability was low, suggesting that they fed at the same trophic level over these 2 years of life. These novel δ15NAA data may therefore suggest individual, specialist harp seal foraging behaviour in sub-adults. Our findings show that compound specific stable isotope signatures of archived, inert predator tissues can be used as tools for the retrospective reconstruction of trophic interactions on broad spatiotemporal scales.
dc.relation.ispartofMarine Ecology Progress Seriesen
dc.rightsCopyright © 2022 Inter-Research. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at
dc.subjectPhocid sealsen
dc.subjectForaging specialisationen
dc.subjectIsotopic nicheen
dc.subjectTrophic positionen
dc.subjectInert tissuesen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.subjectAquatic Scienceen
dc.subjectEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematicsen
dc.subjectSDG 14 - Life Below Wateren
dc.titleCompound specific isotope analyses of harp seal teeth : tools for trophic ecology reconstructionen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Sea Mammal Research Uniten
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Scottish Oceans Instituteen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Research into Ecological & Environmental Modellingen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Coastal Resources Management Groupen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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