Trophic linkages in the lower Colorado River: multiple stable isotope evidence

  • Angradi T
  • 17

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Abstract

Trophic linkages in Glen and Grand Canyons of the lower Colorado River downstream from Glen Canyon Dam were examined using multiple stable isotope analysis. The 613C values of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and the 613C, 15N, and 634S values of seston, aquatic and terrestrial plants, and aquatic animals were determined. The 613C value of DIC varied among sites. DIC from the epilimnion of the reservoir (Lake Powell) and from a tributary was more 13C-enriched than DIC in the Colorado River, probably as a result of variation in aquatic primary production and dissolution of carbonate among sites. Four potential bases of aquatic secondary production: upland vegetation, riparian vegetation, reservoir plankton, and benthic algae were isotopically (613C and 615N) distinct from each other. Analysis of 613C, 615N, and 634S showed that seston from the dam tailwater (Glen Canyon) consisted of lotic algae and zooplankton from Lake Powell, except for the ultra fine fraction (

Author-supplied keywords

  • 13C
  • 15N
  • 34S
  • Cladophora
  • Colorado River
  • Gammarus
  • dam
  • fish.
  • food webs
  • seston
  • stable isotopes
  • trophic level

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Authors

  • Tr Angradi

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