Inter- and intra-specific variability in δ13C and δ18O values of freshwater gastropod shells from Lake Lednica, western Poland

Karina Apolinarska, Mariusz Pełechaty


This study focuses on the inter- and intra-specific variability in δ13C and δ18O values of shells and opercula of gastropods sampled live from the littoral zone of Lake Lednica, western Poland. The δ13C and δ18O values were measured in individual opercula of Bithynia tentaculata and in shells of Bithynia tentaculata, Gyraulus albusGyraulus crista, Lymnaea sp., Physa fontinalis, Radix auricularia, Theodoxus fluviatilis and Valvata cristata. The gastropods selected for the study are among the species most commonly found in European Quaternary lacustrine sediments. The carbon isotope composition of the gastropod shells was species-specific and the same order of species from the most to the least 13C-depleted was observed at all sites sampled. Differences in shell δ13C values between species were similar at all sampling sites, thus the factors influencing shell isotopic composition were interpreted as species-specific. The δ18O values of shells were similar in all the species investigated. Significant intra-specific variability in shell δ13C and δ18O values was observed not only within the populations of Lake Lednica, which can be explained by heterogeneity of δ13C DIC, δ18O water and water temperature between the sites where macrophytes with snails attached were sampled, but also between individuals sampled from restricted areas of the lake’s bottom. The latter points to the importance of factors related to the ontogeny of individual gastropods.


C and O stable isotopes; Recent gastropod shells; Freshwater; Inter-specific differences; Intra-specific variability; Lake Lednica

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