, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 221–247

High nitrogen isotope ratio for soils of seabird rookeries

  • Hiroshi Mizutani
  • Hiroshi Hasegawa
  • Eitaro Wada


Soils from rookeries of penguin, of gull, and of albatross were examined for their nitrogen isotope ratio. The ratio was far higher than any so far reported for soils. Furthermore, there was an apparent dependence of the ratio on the latitude of rookery locations. The high ratio seemed to have had resulted from a relatively high ratio for incoming nitrogen to the rookeries, and from the large fractionation factor during the ammonia volatilization from the rookeries. The isotope ratio for ammonium nitrogen of the penguin rookery soils averaged 45 per mil, while that of the gull rookery soils gave the mean of 27 per mil during the breeding season of the birds. Soils of gull rookeries and of albatross rookery gave, on the average, a similar ratio of 17 per mil for Kjeldahl nitrogen, though its content of soils of gull rookeries was nearly two orders of magnitude higher than that of albatross rookery. Soils from penguin rookery showed the ratio of 32 per mil for Kjeldahl nitrogen, the enrichment of15N being two and a half times as large as that for soils of other rookeries.

Key words

seabird rookery soil ammonia volatilization nitrogen isotope ratio food chain 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. W. Junk Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Mizutani
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Hasegawa
    • 2
  • Eitaro Wada
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biogeochemistry and SociogeochemistryMitsubishi-Kasei Institute of Life SciencesTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceToho UniversityChibaJapan

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