Subantarctic Macquarie Island - a model ecosystem for studying animal-derived nitrogen sources using N-15 natural abundance

Erskine, PD, Bergstrom, DM, Schmidt, S, Stewart, GR, Tweedie, CE and Shaw, JD (1998) Subantarctic Macquarie Island - a model ecosystem for studying animal-derived nitrogen sources using N-15 natural abundance. Oecologia, 117 1-2: 187-193. doi:10.1007/s004420050647


Author Erskine, PD
Bergstrom, DM
Schmidt, S
Stewart, GR
Tweedie, CE
Shaw, JD
Title Subantarctic Macquarie Island - a model ecosystem for studying animal-derived nitrogen sources using N-15 natural abundance
Journal name Oecologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0029-8549
Publication date 1998-01-01
Year available 1998
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s004420050647
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 117
Issue 1-2
Start page 187
End page 193
Total pages 7
Place of publication NEW YORK
Publisher SPRINGER VERLAG
Language eng
Abstract Plants collected from diverse sites on subantarctic Macquarie Island varied by up to 30 parts per thousand in their leaf delta(15)N values. N-15 natural abundance of plants, soils, animal excrement and atmospheric ammonia suggest that the majority of nitrogen utilised by plants growing in the vicinity of animal colonies or burrows is animal-derived. Plants growing near scavengers and animal higher in the food chain had highly enriched delta(15)N values (mean = 12.9 parts per thousand), reflecting the highly enriched signature of these animals' excrement, while plants growing near nesting penguins and albatross, which have an intermediate food chain position, had less enriched delta(15)N values (> 6 parts per thousand). Vegetation in areas affected by rabbits had lower delta(15)N values (mean = 1.2 parts per thousand), while the highly depleted delta(15)N values (below -5 parts per thousand) of plants at upland plateau sites inland of penguin colonies, suggested that a portion of their nitrogen is derived from ammonia (mean N-15 = -10 parts per thousand) lost during the degradation of penguin guano. Vegetation in a remote area had delta(15)N values near -2 parts per thousand. These results contrast with arctic and subarctic studies that attribute large variations in plant N-15 values to nitrogen partitioning in nitrogen-limited environments. Here, plant N-15 reflects the N-15 Of the likely nitrogen sources utilised by plants.
Keyword Ecology
Animal-derived Nitrogen
Plant Nitrogen Sources
Subantarctic
Aerial Nitrogen Deposition
N-15 Natural Abundance
Southern Elephant Seals
Arctic Plants
Ecological Implications
Atmospheric Ammonia
Seabird Rookeries
Mirounga-leonina
Soil-nitrogen
Penguin
Deposition
Carbon
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 20:47:55 EST