[MARMAM] New publication: Tissue-specific stable isotope results for humpback whale diet

Jasmin Gross jasmin.gross at fulbrightmail.org
Sun Apr 16 23:34:54 PDT 2023

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are excited to share the following open-access publication with you:

Eggebo J, Groß J, Bengtson Nash S (2023) Interpretation of southern hemisphere humpback whale diet via stable isotopes; implications of tissue-specific analysis. PLoS ONE 18(4): e0283330. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0283330

Blubber and skin are commonly used tissues in stable isotope analysis for the purpose of investigating cetacean diet. Critical comparison of tissue-specific isotopic signals is, however, lacking resulting in uncertainty surrounding the representativeness and therefore utility of different tissues for accurate determination of recent foraging. This study used remotely biopsied blubber and skin tissues from southern hemisphere humpback whales for strategic comparison of δ13C and δ15N values. Samples were collected between 2008–2018 as part of long-term monitoring under the Humpback Whale Sentinel Program. Blubber tissues were lipid-extracted prior to analysis, whilst mathematical lipid-correction was performed on skin samples. Isotopic values from paired blubber and skin samples from the same individuals were compared to assess whether tissues could be used interchangeably for isotope analysis and dietary interpretation. Significant differences were observed for both δ13C and δ15N, flagging previously undocumented methodological considerations, and the need for method validation and standardisation in application of these approaches. This study therefore advances methodological aspects of cetacean dietary analysis. This is of elevated importance in the context of rapidly changing ocean ecosystems.

Feel free to email one of the authors if you have any questions regarding this work.

All the best,


— —
Dr Jasmin Groß (she/her)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity | Ammerländer Heerstraße 231, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany

Fulbright Alumna I SOPOPP Alumna | ANZSCSMM Chapter Head

Email: jasmin.gross at hifmb.de <mailto:jasmin.gross at hifmb.de>
Phone: +49 (0)471 4831 2519
Twitter: @jasmin4689 <https://twitter.com/jasmin4689>
Google Scholar: Dr Jasmin Groß <https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=UGOcQRcAAAAJ&hl=en>

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