Stable Isotopes

Atoms of one element with different weights

Atoms are made of protons, electrons and neutrons. The elements of the period table are as atoms often distributed in a natural occurring isotope pattern. Isotopes are atoms with the same number of protons and electrons but a different number of neutrons and thus have different weights.

Isotopes are differentiated in stable and radioactive isotopes. While radioactive isotopes like 60Co radiate and thus decay, stable isotopes like 12C or 13C do not change.
That is the reason why stable isotopes occur in a natural distribution pattern.
Analysis of isotope patterns and comparison to  standards allows conclusions about different accumulation scenarios in the metabolism of plants and animals.

Substances

  • Measure for the enrichment of the stable nitrogen isotope 15N in the food web
  • Measure for the enrichment of the stable carbon isotope 13C in the food web

Specimen

  • Common mussel species as invasive animal in rivers and lakes with high information level for water pollution
  • Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
  • Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase
  • Common brown alga of the coastal areas of the North and Baltic Sea
  • One of the most important edible mussel species common in the North and Baltic Sea
  • As the only viviparous fish in German nearshore waters, it is a bioindicator in nearshore coastal marine ecosystems.
  • Inshore, the herring gull mainly feeds from the sea: upon fish, mussels, and crabs.
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A deciduous tree typical of ecosystems close to dense conurbations and an indicator for the characterisation of the immission situation during the vegetation period.
  • As the most dominant deciduous tree species in Central Europe, it plays a significant role in most nearly natural and also anthropogenically influenced forest ecosystems up to an altitude of 1100 m.
  • The roe deer is the most common of the larger herbivores (first order-consumer) to be found in the wild in Europe.
  • A pigeon species home in nearly every city.
  • As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
  • As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
  • Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.

Sampling area

Sampling period

1991 - 2019