Stable isotope analysis

Definition

Stable isotopes are alternative forms of elements with different molecular weights that are found naturally and do not decay radioactively. Stable isotope analysis of elements such as carbon, nitrogen and sulphur is used in ecology to trace the flow of nutrients through food webs and assess trophic levels.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Dissolved iron is mysteriously pervasive in deep ocean hydrothermal plumes. An analysis of gas, metals and particles from a 4,000 km plume transect suggests that dissolved iron is maintained by rapid and reversible exchanges with sinking particles.

    • William B. Homoky
    Nature Geoscience 10, 162–163
  • News and Views |

    Carbon dioxide can stimulate photosynthesis in trees and increase their growth rates. A study of tree rings from three seasonal tropical forests shows no evidence of faster growth during 150 years of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    • Lucas A. Cernusak