Thursday, 25 March 2010

Iso-Analytical Student Award Provides a First for Deuterium Analysis

Unravelling complexities in benthic food webs using a dual stable isotope (hydrogen and carbon) approach.

Peter Deines, Matthew J. Wooller and Jonathan Grey, Freshwater Biology (2009) 54, 2243-2251.

In the journal article above the authors provide preliminary evidence to suggest that hydrogen and carbon isotope values in macroinvertebrates may be used to distinguish between methane formation pathways and help to explain inter-depth and inter-specific differences between co-existing chironomid species found in the same lake.

Peter Deines of the Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Plon, Germany used his Iso-Analytical Student award to send samples to our laboratory for analysis. Samples of chironomid larvae collected from German lakes were measured for their deuterium abundance. As far as the authors are aware this is the first study to use deuterium as a second biochemical marker in combination with carbon-13 (measured in their own laboratory), to unravel linkages between microbial fauna in sediment and macroinvertebrate consumers.