Reconstructions of individual fish trophic geographies using isotopic analysis of eye-lens amino acids
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Reconstructions of individual fish trophic geographies using isotopic analysis of eye-lens amino acids

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    Fish eye lenses are a proteinaceous structure that grows by accumulating layers in a chronological manner. Each layer becomes metabolically inert, capturing the ratio of heavy/light carbon and nitrogen isotopes at time of formation. Therefore, eye lenses contain chronological isotopic records and can be used to create a temporal isotopic history throughout an individual’s lifetime. We analyzed eye lens amino-acid δ15N to address spatio-temporal baseline variability and to reconstruct trophic histories of 10 individual Red Snapper. Proteins from sequential eye lens laminae were derivatized to measure 10 amino acids, from which glutamic acid (trophic) and phenylalanine (source) were used to estimate trophic positions at different points in life. Best-fitting regressions were generated to represent individual (R2 ≥ 0.89) and generalized (R2 = 0.77) trophic trajectory for Red Snapper. The resulting trophic trajectories indicated an increase in trophic position with increasing length. Until recently, there has not been a lifetime isotopic structure with enough organic nitrogen to recreate geographic histories using compound-specific stable isotope analysis of amino acids (CSIA-AA). This study confirms that eye-lens laminae can be used to reconstruct trophogeographic histories via CSIA-AA.
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    PLOS ONE, 18(3), e0282669
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    CC BY
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