Stable isotopic turnover with isotopic change due to growth and metabolic tissue replacement associated with a change in environmental conditions is a critical aspect of the use of stable isotope analyses as time-integrating tracers of resource-consumer interactions. However, stable isotopic turnover in plants remains poorly understood compared with those of animals, and here we used continuous flow elemental analyzer-isotopic ratio mass spectrometry (EA-IRMS) to analyse the turnover of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in a submersed macrophyte (Vallisneria natans) after transplantation to hypereutrophic and mesoeutrophic treatments in a field mesocosm experiment. The direction and magnitude of the isotopic shifts of V. natans were suggested to be determined by the inorganic nutrient availability and its isotopic content in the different treatments. Based on the modelling results of turnover, the contribution of growth to the isotopic turnover was as high as those observed in various aquatic ectotherms. However, the contribution of metabolism was also considerable, especially for nitrogen in the hypereutrophic treatment, which was argued to be a response, co-occurring with growth inhabitation and biochemical disorder of V. natans, to the stress induced by the eutrophication. Our results indicated that isotope turnover in a macrophyte is a feasible technique for estimating its ecophysiological conditions in the natural environment, and that it may facilitate understanding of isotopic data in field studies of food web and habitat restoration under eutrophic conditions. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Xu, Jun; Cao, Te; Zhang, Min; Li, Zhongqiang; Zhang, Meng; Ni, Leyi; Xie, Ping.Isotopic turnover of a submersed macrophyte following transplant: the roles of growth and metabolism in eutrophic conditions,RAPID COMMUNICATIONS IN MASS SPECTROMETRY,2011,25(21):3267-3273