Food webs can be characterized by use of markers. These are increasingly used in food web studies since they are the only tool that can be used to infer relations through multiple trophic levels. Such a marker is a characteristic of an organism that can be objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic processes. These include fatty acids, stable isotopes, and molecular markers such as immunological markers and DNA markers. This report presents the results of a literature survey on these marker techniques, their use in describing marine and estuarine food webs, and an evaluation of their usefulness for the model OMEGA. Stable isotope analysis is advised as the best method to characterize food webs by means of trophic position and carbon source. Fatty acids can be used to differentiate within trophic groups, especially within the group of primary producers.
|Place of Publication||Wageningen|
|Number of pages||55|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
- food webs
- marine environment
de Lange, H. J., & van den Brink, N. W. (2006). Literature review of available techniques to characterize marine and estuarine food webs; with emphasis for application in the model OMEGA. (Alterra-rapport; No. 1372). Wageningen: Alterra.