Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 1985 Mar 15;227(4692):1361-3.

Multiple stable isotopes used to trace the flow of organic matter in estuarine food webs.


The use of a combination of the stable isotopes of sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen allows the flow of organic matter and trophic relations in salt marshes and estuaries to be traced while eliminating many ambiguities that accompany the use of a single isotopic tracer. Salt-marsh grasses take up the isotopically light sulfides formed during sulfate reduction, and the transfer of this light sulfur through the marsh food web is illustrated with data on the ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa) from various locations in a New England marsh. The multiple isotope approach shows that this filter feeder consumes both marsh grass ( Spartina) detritus and plankton, with the relative proportions of each determined by the location of the mussels in the marsh.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center