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Fiera C. Application of stable isotopes and lipid analysis to understand trophic interactions in springtails. North Western Journal of Zoology, 10(2), pp. 227-235, 2014.

Abstract: The combination of nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios with fatty acids (FA) analysis is a useful tool
for food web studies in cryptic belowground systems. The study investigates trophic niche diferentiation of
Collembola communities from the litter of two Romanian beech forests and determines the origin of posible
food sources consumed by springtails using fatty acid technique. δ15N signatures of Collembola taxa in the
investigated food web spanned over 10δ units, which implies a wide range in food sources used. Assuming a
shift in 15N of 3‰ per trophic level, the results indicate a range of three to four trophic guilds: phytophages,
primary decomposers, secondary decomposers and carnivores. The lipid composition of their potential food
resources was assessed in order to gain insight into food web linkages from the forests. Among the 19 fatty
acids detected in the PLFA fraction, nine were ascribed as bacterial, one derived from fungi, 2 as plant and 6
occurred in various organism groups, and had ‘‘other’’ origin. Most species were either plant litter or fungal
feeders, as indicated by high proportions of oleic (18:1w9) or linoleic (18:2w6) acid, but we can say that Collembola feed unselectively on a wide variety of food materials.

Keywords: Collembola, nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes, feeding guilds, fatty acids, phospholipids

URL: http://biozoojournals.ro/nwjz/content/v10n2/nwjz_131107_Fiera.pdf

Posted by Cristina Fiera

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