, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp 239–242 | Cite as

Ontogenetic shift in crayfish δ13C as a measure of land-water ecotonal coupling

  • Robert France
Ecosystems Ecology


Although ontogenetic changes in the carbon isotope ratios of marine fauna have been well studied those of freshwater organisms have not. As a result, we may have a less than adequate assessment of the incorporation of allochthonous detritus into freshwater foodwebs. This study found a δ13C range of 9‰ for crayfish (Orconectes virilis) from oligotrophic Canadian Shield lakes. Much (60–83%) of this variability was explained by body size. A simple isotopic mixing model suggests that by their third year of life, crayfish in these lakes rely more substantially upon terrestrial detritus than epilithic algae for energy.

Key words

Crayfish Allochthonous detritus δ13Ontogeny 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert France
    • 1
  1. 1.Dep. of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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