- 15N amino acid stable isotope analysis for the East Pacific green turtle
Stable isotope analysis is frequently used in studies to understand movement, habitat use and trophic ecology of marine organisms. Bulk 15N analysis can generate estimates of trophic level and help to elucidate trophic linkages. However, interpretation of bulk 15N data can be difficult due to nutrient dynamics at the base of the food web. Recently, seminal studies on amino acid compound specific isotope of nitrogen have shown evidence that this methodology can provide of more accurate calculation of trophic level in lower level organisms. Our research focuses on testing assumptions of this methodology for the East Pacific green turtle in order to appropriately apply this technique to field studies. Through a controlled feeding experiment we will understand amino acid dynamics for the East Pacific green turtle, determine trophic discrimination factors and estimate turnover rates for 15N in greet turtle tissues.