We measured the natural stable carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) isotope ratio patterns of collembola and the organic substrates of their habitats and potential food sources in a warm temperate coniferous forest. Based on previous studies, we classified collembola into successional classes along litter decomposition gradients: early colonizers, late colonizers, and dominants-throughout. The stable C and N isotope ratios of late colonizers exceeded those of early colonizers, and those of the dominants-throughout were intermediate between early and late colonizers, which is consistent with previous studies on two macro-invertebrates, earthworms and termites. The C and N isotopic signature differences in collembola may reflect food resource partitioning along decomposition gradients. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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