USE OF THE STABLE ISOTOPES OF CARBON, NITROGEN AND SULFUR FOR STUDIES ON COASTAL ECOLOGY
Keywords:Detritus, food webs, growth index, pollution.
Stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur have been successfully used for.diverse applications in coastal ecology. Most studies dealt with the elucidation of food webs using carbon and nitrogen isotopes, and sometimes sulfur isotopes. Similarly, stable isotopes were successfully employed in determining the source of particulate organic matter in the water column or bottom sediments, especially carbon and sulfur isotopes. On the other hand, macrophyte nitrogen stable isotopes have been useful to indicate the existence of pollution in some ecosystems. Apart from those well-established utilizations, new applications of stable isotopes were suggested, as for example the use of carbon stable isotopes to determine the growth rate of aquatic macrophytes. Numerous studies employing this technique were recently conducted in many countries, and it can be useful to increase the understanding of Brazilian coastal ecosystems.