The SINLAB and Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI) have collaborated on a variety of stable isotope research projects, involving samples from both aquatic and terrestrial environments. The following are examples of some of these projects:

Current Projects:

  • Determining the food resource base of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and water striders (Hemiptera: Gerridae) in small streams, in relation to mercury exposure

  • Detecting areas in Atlantic Canadian rivers receiving inputs of marine-derived nutrients from spawning salmonids, alosids and osmerids

  • Understanding isotopic fractionation between fish tissues, with the goal of using non-lethal sampling techniques (fin clips, scales)

  • Combining stable isotope analysis (SIA) with telemetry and mark-recapture data to better understand fish movement in relation to seasonal habitat use and environmental monitoring

  • Quantifying the contribution of sea-run and resident trout to juvenile production on both sides of the Atlantic

  • Understanding trophic interactions between endangered Atlantic whitefish and introduced smallmouth bass in Nova Scotia lakes

  • Assessing the productivity and food webs in Fundy rivers

  • Understanding the influence of lipids on stable carbon isotope ratios

  • Developing stable hydrogen isotopes as a source tracer in aquatic food webs

  • Developing new methods for understanding altitudinal migration in Neotropical birds and bats

  • Calibrating isotopic turn-over in avian tissues for use in studies of long-distance migration

  • Determining food web dynamics in New Brunswick bat species

Past Projects:

  • Determination of the food source pathways leading to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in tributary streams and lake sub-basins in Gros Morne National Park, NL

  • Comparative analysis of tissues of American eel (Anguilla rostrata) in several ponds in Prince Edward Island in order to assess evidence of different diet sources (marine versus freshwater).

  • Assessment of mobility of slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus) and juvenile Atlantic salmon by comparing tissue signatures from isotopically distinct sub-catchments

  • Use of stable isotope analysis to predict biomagnification of Hg within fish communities of lakes in northwestern Ontario and in New Brunswick streams by assessing trophic status of aquatic biota

  • Differentiation of the relative contribution of insects of terrestrial and aquatic origins in the diets of northern long-eared and little brown bats (Myotis spp.)

  • Effects of N-eutrophication in food webs of rivers in Brittany, France

Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird, Isotope Sampling, K. Fraser, Nicaragua