2007 Volume 37 Issue 4 Pages 209-220
Increasing numbers of studies have recently used stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) to clarify the source of nutrients in lake water and sediments, the structure and energy flow of food webs, the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of hazardous chemicals in aquatic animals, and temporal trends in lake environments. In lake research in particular, the analysis of δ15N and δ13C is a powerful tool in analyzing the structure of the food web and energy flows, as well as the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of toxic chemicals in aquatic animals. Furthermore, the integration of data on food webs, stable isotope ratios, and environmental geochemistry can be useful in evaluating the risks of exposure to environmental contaminants. It is hoped that further research on lake environments using stable isotopic methods can be performed with the aim of conserving water quality and aquatic ecosystems.