Special Issue "Stable Isotopes in Ecological Research"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018) | Viewed by 25347
The use of stable isotope analysis in ecology has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. A quick search on Scopus using the key words, “stable isotope” and “ecology” yields 8 papers for 1997, but 406 in 2017. Of course, many more papers using stable isotopes in ecology-related studies were published, but did not include these exact key words. However, this simple measure represents an increase of 50-fold.
Ecological applications of stable isotopes were pioneered by geochemists in studies of global element cycles and past climatic conditions. Later, work using stable isotopes in studies of photosynthesis in plants, diet and trophic levels in animals was pioneered in the 1980s and in migration in the 1990s. Stable isotopes are important to understanding how environmental, genetic, and morphological factors combine to influence water and gas exchange in plants, trace the flow of nutrients through individual organisms from one ecosystem to another. Stable isotope analysis is critical to our understanding of paleoecology and in the past 10-15 years major advances in mixing models have allowed more precise understandings of past and present diets of animals. More recently, stable isotope analysis has contributed greatly to our understanding of niche partitioning in plants and animals, compound-specific isotope analysis has proved an important tool in trophic ecology and promises to advance our understand of micropollutants in the environment. The applications of stable isotope analysis are many and varied and their importance to ecological studies has become indispensable.
This special issue seeks to address the breadth of the application of stable isotope analysis to all types of ecological questions as well as to highlight recent advances in the use of stable isotopes in ecology.Dr. Kent A. Hatch
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