Impact of taxonomy, geography, and depth on δ<sup>13</sup>C and δ<sup>15</sup>N Variation in a large collection of macroalgae

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Journal Article
Journal of Phycology, 2011, 47 (5), pp. 1023 - 1035
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The natural abundance of carbon stable isotopes (δ13C) of marine macrophytes has been measured in previous studies and used to analyze differences in Ci assimilation among the three macroalgal phyla, Chlorophyta, Ochrophyta, and Rhodophyta, and seagrasses, distinguishing diffusive CO2 entry from the operation of a CO2-concentrating mechanisms (CCM). The work reported here further resolves the patterns of δ13C variation in aquatic macrophytes related to their taxonomy, geographic location (and consequently climatic conditions), and vertical zonation. Analyses of δ13C for 87 species are reported, including eight that have not been previously examined, belonging to taxa in the three macroalgal phyla, plus two species of seagrasses, collected at different latitudes. For one species of each phylum, analyses were also conducted through a vertical depth gradient. Representative species were used in a pH drift experiment, in order to compare the mechanism of Ci acquisition for photosynthesis with the δ13C subsequently determined on the same specimen. Our results suggest that the δ13C values were mostly determined by taxonomy. Depth effects on C stable isotope composition differed among taxa. The parallel measurements of δ15N are more difficult to interpret mechanistically; there are no robust phylogenetic and large-scale biogeographic correlations; local factors of natural (e.g., upwellings) and anthropogenic (e.g., sewage outfall) inputs predominate in determining the macrophyte δ15N. © 2011 Phycological Society of America.
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