Virtual Special Issue of the 3rd Joint European Stable Isotope Users Group Meeting (JESIUM) 2012, held in Leipzig, Germany

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The 3rd JESIUM took place in Leipzig, Germany, at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ from 2nd to 7th September, 2012, and was organized by the German Association of Stable Isotope Research (GASIR). During the five days, 250 participants from 26 countries worldwide presented their results in 101 oral presentations and 105 posters under the umbrella of 12 sessions. Keynote speakers introduced a wide spectrum of isotope applications from the 12 sessions to the isotope users.

It was the concern of the organizers and the scientific board to publish selected papers in well-known isotopes-related journals as practised already from the former two JESIUM conferences in Vienna, Austria, 2004, and Presquille du Giens, France, 2008. As published results are the best advertisement for scientists' work, the editors of Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies and Rapid Communication in Mass Spectrometry committed to publishing selected papers from the JESIUM 2012 in their journals. Hereafter, four articles of the variety of application and developments in stable isotope research are summarized in the 'Special Virtual Issue' of JESIUM 2012.

S. Bodé et al. discuss " Stable isotope probing of amino sugars – a promising tool to assess microbial interactions in soils" which was presented in Session 11 " Biochemistry & Element Cycles" chaired by B. Sherwood-Lollar and H. Richnow. The authors propose a new approach to investigate fungal-bacterial interactions in soils using stable isotope probing of their amino sugar biomarkers. They conclude that the bacterial community could be considered as playing a parasitic type role towards fungi during litter degradation. The newly developed methodology proved to be very useful for elucidating microbial interactions during plant residue degradation.

M. Tripti et al. present an isotopic approach in their article " First assessment of water and carbon cycles in two tropical coastal rivers of south-west India: an isotopic approach" which was a poster in Session 1 " Hydrology & Water Cycles" chaired by K. Rozanski. The authors conclude that higher evapotranspiration under tropical conditions causes higher vapour recycling in the Swarna and Nethravati River basins draining the western part of the Western Ghats. Riverine DIC is mainly controlled by weathering of source rocks (silicates) with variation along the river course by CO2 degassing from river to atmosphere, and is less dominated by oxidation of DOC.

A. J. MacDonald et al. introduce in their article " A novel oral tracer procedure for measurement of habitual myofibrillar protein synthesis" a procedure for determining fractional synthetic rate (FSR) to estimate habitual rates. The paper was presented in Session 5 " Medicine, Pharmacology & Doping" chaired by R. Robins and T. Preston. After a single oral 2H2O bolus, 2H-enriched body water was compared with 2H-enriched protein-bound and plasma-free alanine collected over 13 days to calculate the myofibrillar protein FSR. It was shown that endogenous labeling of alanine occurred in a predictable manner comparable with published values.

Thanh Thuy Nguyen Tu et al. presented results on 13C-labeled experiments in leaves in " Variability of 13C-labeling in plant leaves" which was announced as a poster in Session 5 " Ecology & Physiology" introduced by J. Ghashghaie and G. Gebauer. The authors concluded from their experiments that the reported variability of isotope composition in 13C-enriched leaves is critical, and should be taken into account in subsequent experimental investigations of environmental processes using 13C-labeled plant tissues.

In addition to these four articles in RCM, seven articles have been published online in Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies (http://www.tandfonline.com/gieh), volume 49, issue 4, 2013, as " Special Section: Contributions to the 3rd Joint European Stable Isotope User Meeting (JESIUM)" .

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