Natural trophic variability in a large, oligotrophic, near-pristine lake

Journal of Great Lakes Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

Conclusions drawn from stable isotope data can be limited by an incomplete understanding of natural isotopic variability over time and space. We quantified spatial and temporal variability in fish carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in Lake Hövsgöl, Mongolia, a large, remote, oligotrophic lake with an unusually species-poor fish community. The fish community demonstrated a high degree of trophic level overlap. Variability in δ13C was inversely related to littoral-benthic dependence, with pelagic species demonstrating more δ13C variability than littoral-benthic species. A mixed effects model suggested that space (sampling location) had a greater impact than time (collection year) on both δ13C and δ15N variability. The observed variability in Lake Hövsgöl was generally greater than isotopic variability documented in other large, oligotrophic lakes, similar to isotopic shifts attributed to introduced species, and less than isotopic shifts attributed to anthropogenic chemical changes such as eutrophication. This work complements studies on isotopic variability and changes in other lakes around the world.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Natural trophic variability in a large, oligotrophic, near-pristine lake
Series title Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2015.02.010
Volume 41
Issue 2
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher International Association for Great Lakes Research
Publisher location Toronto
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 463
Last page 472
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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