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Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 52, Issue 1–2, pp 95–105 | Cite as

Taxon-specific δ13C analysis of chitinous invertebrate remains in sediments from Strandsjön, Sweden

  • M. van Hardenbroek
  • A. F. Lotter
  • D. Bastviken
  • T. J. Andersen
  • O. Heiri
Original paper

Abstract

Taxon-specific stable carbon isotope (δ13C) analysis of chitinous remains of invertebrates can provide valuable information about the carbon sources used by invertebrates living in specific habitats of lake ecosystems (for example, sediments, water column, or aquatic vegetation). This is complementary to δ13C of sedimentary organic matter (SOM), which provides an integrated signal of organic matter produced in a lake and its catchment, and of diagenetic processes within sediments. In a sediment record from Strandsjön (Sweden) covering the past circa 140 years, we analyzed SOM geochemistry (δ13C, C:Natomic, organic carbon content) and δ13C of chitinous invertebrate remains in order to examine whether taxon-specific δ13C records could be developed for different invertebrate groups and whether these analyses provide insights into past changes of organic carbon sources for lacustrine invertebrates available in benthic and planktonic compartments of the lake. Invertebrate taxa included benthic chironomids (Chironomus, Chironomini excluding Chironomus, Tanytarsini, and Tanypodinae), filter-feeders on suspended particulate organic matter (Daphnia, Plumatella and Cristatella mucedo), and Rhabdocoela. δ13C of chironomid remains indicated periodic availability of 13C-depleted carbon sources in the benthic environment of the lake as δ13C values of the different chironomid taxa fluctuated simultaneously between −34.7 and −30.5 ‰ (VPDB). Daphnia and Bryozoa showed parallel changes in their δ13C values which did not coincide with variations in δ13C of chironomids, though, and a 2–3 ‰ decrease since circa AD 1960. The decrease in δ13C of Daphnia and Bryozoa could indicate a decrease in phytoplankton δ13C as a result of lower lake productivity, which is in accordance with historical information about the lake that suggests a shift to less eutrophic conditions after AD 1960. In contrast, Rhabdocoela cocoons were characterized by relatively high δ13C values (−30.4 to −28.2 ‰) that did not show a strong temporal trend, which could be related to the predatory feeding mode and wide prey spectrum of this organism group. The taxon-specific δ13C analyses of invertebrate remains indicated that different carbon sources were available for the benthic chironomid larvae than for the filter-feeding Daphnia and bryozoans. Our results therefore demonstrate that taxon-specific analysis of δ13C of organic invertebrate remains can provide complementary information to measurements on bulk SOM and that δ13C of invertebrate remains may allow the reconstruction of past changes in carbon sources and their δ13C in different habitats of lake ecosystems.

Keywords

Invertebrates Chitinous remains Lake sediment Stable carbon isotopes Sedimentary organic matter 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Lotta Frisk Hagström and Kristina Eriksson for valuable historical information about the lake and Arndt Schimmelmann and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions to improve this manuscript. This research was supported by the Darwin Centre for Biogeosciences, the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant project RECONMET (Project No. 239858), and the Swedish Research Council (Project No. VR 2006-3256).

Supplementary material

10933_2014_9780_MOESM1_ESM.xls (26 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLS 25 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. van Hardenbroek
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. F. Lotter
    • 2
  • D. Bastviken
    • 3
  • T. J. Andersen
    • 4
  • O. Heiri
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Plant Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change ResearchUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Palaeoecology, Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Department of Physical GeographyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Thematic Studies - Water and Environmental StudiesLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  4. 4.Department of Geography and GeologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark

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