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Netherlands Polar Data Center

Publication - Stable isotope ratios as a tool for assessing the marine influence on Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems

Abstract

The variation in the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios was used to determine the source of organic matter present in Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems. The differences in the isotope ratios of N and C could be retraced to the different sources available (the marine ecosystem or terrestrial decomposition for N and dissolved or atmospheric CO2 for C) and to the environmental differences of the different habitats. The differences are co-inciding with the climatic and ecological gradients from Maritime to Continental Antarctica and, within Maritime Antarctica, from northern to southern locations.

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