Isotopic ecology ten years after a call for more laboratory experiments


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About 10 years ago, reviews of the use of stable isotopes in animal ecology predicted explosive growth in this field and called for laboratory experiments to provide a mechanistic foundation to this growth. They identified four major areas of inquiry: (1) the dynamics of isotopic incorporation, (2) mixing models, (3) the problem of routing, and (4) trophic discrimination factors. Because these areas remain central to isotopic ecology, we use them as organising foci to review the experimental results that isotopic ecologists have collected in the intervening 10 years since the call for laboratory experiments. We also review the models that have been built to explain and organise experimental results in these areas.