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Title: Fin whales as bioindicators of multi-decadal change in carbon and oxygen stable isotope shifts in the North Atlantic
Author: Borrell Thió, Assumpció
Saiz, L.
Vikingsson, G. A.
Gaufier, P.
Lopez Fernandez, A.
Aguilar, Àlex
Keywords: Balenes
Atlàntic, Oceà
Atlantic Ocean
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2018
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Abstract: Global changes, and particularly the massive release of CO2 to the atmosphere and subsequent global warming, have altered the baselines of carbon and oxygen stable isotopic ratios. Temporal shifts in these baselines can be advantageously monitored through cetacean skin samples because these animals are highly mobile and therefore integrate in their tissues the heterogeneity of local environmental signals. In this study, we examine variation of delta C-13 and delta O-18 values in the skin of fin whales sampled over three decades in two different North Atlantic feeding grounds: west Iceland and northwest Spain. These locations are situated about 2700 km apart and thus represent a wide latitudinal range within the North Atlantic Ocean. The delta C-13 decrease in both areas is attributed to the burning of fossil fuels and increased deforestation worldwide, the so-called Suess effect. The dissimilarity in the magnitude of the shift between the two areas is coincidental with previous information on local shifts and lies within the ranges of variation observed. delta O-18 values experienced a minimal, yet significant change in fin whales from W Iceland (a decline of - 0.44 parts per thousand between 1986 and 2013) but not in those from NW Spain. This is in concordance with a higher rise in temperatures in the former area than in the latter. The study validates the use of cetacean skin to monitor temporal and geographical shifts in stable isotopic values and alerts that, when applying this tool to ecological research, comparisons between sample sets should take into account temporal and latitudinal scales.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Marine Environmental Research, 2018, vol. 138, p. 129-134
Related resource:
ISSN: 0141-1136
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)

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