Tissue preservation biases in stable isotopes of fishes and molluscs from Patagonian lakes


  • C. Correa

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology and Redpath Museum, McGill University, 859 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C4 Canada
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Tel.: +1 514 398 4086; email: cristiancorrea@gmail.com


Field work commonly involves preserving samples for later use; however, most preservation methods distort stable-isotope (SI) signatures that are of interest to ecologists. Although preservation of muscle samples with table salt and rubbing alcohol affected the SI (δ13C and δ15N) of important consumers in Patagonian lakes (molluscs and fishes), variation among individuals and lakes generally exceeded that among preservation treatments. Mathematical corrections for these preservation biases are provided, and a potentially bias-free preservation by air-drying is suggested.