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The stable isotope composition of nitrogen and carbon and elemental contents in modern and fossil seabird guano from Northern Chile – Marine sources and diagenetic effects

  • Seabird excrements (guano) have been preserved in the arid climate of Northern Chile since at least the Pliocene. The deposits of marine organic material in coastal areas potentially open a window into the present and past composition of the coastal ocean and its food web. We use the stable isotope composition of nitrogen and carbon as well as element contents to compare the principal prey of the birds, the Peruvian anchovy, with the composition of modern guano. We also investigate the impact of diagenetic changes on the isotopic composition and elemental contents of the pure ornithogenic sediments, starting with modern stratified deposits and extending to fossil guano. Where possible, 14C systematics is used for age information. The nitrogen and carbon isotopic composition of the marine prey (Peruvian anchovy) of the birds is complex as it shows strong systematic variations with latitude. The detailed study of a modern profile that represents a few years of guano deposition up toSeabird excrements (guano) have been preserved in the arid climate of Northern Chile since at least the Pliocene. The deposits of marine organic material in coastal areas potentially open a window into the present and past composition of the coastal ocean and its food web. We use the stable isotope composition of nitrogen and carbon as well as element contents to compare the principal prey of the birds, the Peruvian anchovy, with the composition of modern guano. We also investigate the impact of diagenetic changes on the isotopic composition and elemental contents of the pure ornithogenic sediments, starting with modern stratified deposits and extending to fossil guano. Where possible, 14C systematics is used for age information. The nitrogen and carbon isotopic composition of the marine prey (Peruvian anchovy) of the birds is complex as it shows strong systematic variations with latitude. The detailed study of a modern profile that represents a few years of guano deposition up to present reveals systematic changes in nitrogen and carbon isotopic composition towards heavier values that increase with age, i.e. depth. Only the uppermost, youngest layers of modern guano show compositional affinity to the prey of the birds. In the profile, the simultaneous loss of nitrogen and carbon occurs by degassing, and non-volatile elements like phosphorous and calcium are passively enriched in the residual guano. Fossil guano deposits are very low in nitrogen and low in carbon contents, and show very heavy nitrogen isotopic compositions. One result of the study is that the use of guano for tracing nitrogen and carbon isotopic and elemental composition in the marine food web of the birds is restricted to fresh material. Despite systematic changes during diagenesis, there is little promise to retrieve reliable values of marine nitrogen and carbon signatures from older guano. However, the changes in isotopic composition from primary marine nitrogen isotopic signatures towards very heavy values generate a compositionally unique material. These compositions trace the presence of guano in natural ecosystems and its use as fertilizer in present and past agriculture.zeige mehrzeige weniger

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Metadaten
Autoren/innen:F. Lucassen, Wolfgang Pritzkow, M. Rosner, F. Sepulveda, P. Vasquez, H. Wilke, S. A. Kasemann
Dokumenttyp:Zeitschriftenartikel
Veröffentlichungsform:Verlagsliteratur
Sprache:Englisch
Titel des übergeordneten Werkes (Englisch):PLoS ONE
Jahr der Erstveröffentlichung:2017
Organisationseinheit der BAM:1 Analytische Chemie; Referenzmaterialien
1 Analytische Chemie; Referenzmaterialien / 1.5 Proteinanalytik
Veröffentlichende Institution:Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)
Verlag:PLOS
Verlagsort:San Francisco, California, US
Jahrgang/Band:12
Ausgabe/Heft:6
Erste Seite:Article e0179440, 1
Letzte Seite:25
DDC-Klassifikation:Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / Chemie / Analytische Chemie
Freie Schlagwörter:Accelerator mass spectrometry; Casein standard; Elemental analyser; Fishmeal; ICP-OES; Isotope ratio; VPDB; Vario EL III
Themenfelder/Aktivitätsfelder der BAM:Analytical Sciences
Analytical Sciences / Spurenanalytik und chemische Zusammensetzung
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179440
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:b43-407911
URL:http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcAuth=Alerting&SrcApp=Alerting&DestApp=WOS&DestLinkType=FullRecord;UT=WOS:000402923200126
ISSN:1932-6203
Verfügbarkeit des Dokuments:Datei für die Öffentlichkeit verfügbar ("Open Access")
Lizenz (Deutsch):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung
Datum der Freischaltung:28.06.2017
Referierte Publikation:Ja
Datum der Eintragung als referierte Publikation:30.06.2017
Schriftenreihen ohne Nummerierung:Wissenschaftliche Artikel der BAM