- OXFORD UNIV PRESS
To examine the relationship between carbon and nitrogen stable isotope (SI) ratios (delta C-13 and delta N-15) of zooplankton, we analyzed samples collected bimonthly from March to October 2009, from the euphotic layers of the Oyashio current along the A-line in the western North Pacific. Isotopic ratios of higher trophic levels such as predatory zooplankton and/or long-lived zooplankton varied little with season, while those of short-lived zooplankton were variable on the delta N-15-delta C-13 map. We also analyzed preserved samples taken from the warm-core ring 86-B derived from the Kuroshio extension region. Although the zooplankton groups in the two regions exhibited different values in delta N-15, the delta N-15 versus delta C-13 slopes for each ecosystem do not show significant differences. Statistical analysis conducted together with previously published data from the Antarctic Ocean and the Gulf of Alaska suggested a similar delta N-15 versus delta C-13 slope throughout the four regions. We attributed this common slope to physiological aspects of feeding processes (e. g. the kinetic isotope effects inherent in the processes of amino acid synthesis). The common pattern for all four oceanic regions suggests that SIs may be used to elucidate general patterns in ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles.
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