The present study investigates the environmental significance of the oxygen isotopic composition of several modern land snail species collected along two north-to-south transects in Alaska and Scandinavia at latitudes between 60 and 70 degrees N. We tested the hypothesis that land snail shell Delta18O values primarily track precipitation Delta18O. The results show that shell Delta18O values from Scandinavia were ~5.1 parts per thousand enriched in 18O with respect to snails from Alaska, equivalent to differences in precipitation Delta18O values between the two regions. Within the Alaskan transect, shell Delta18O values increased with observed increasing air temperature and precipitation Delta18O, whereas shell Delta18O values from Scandinavia did not correlate to instrumental climate data because of a reduced climatic gradient across the locations sampled. In addition, shell Delta18O values differed significantly among sympatric species, with larger species consistently exhibiting higher Delta18O values, which implies that species-level isotopic variations should be considered at the local and microhabitat scale. However, when snail shell Delta18O values from this study are combined with previously published data from North America and Europe, we see evidence that shell Delta18O track precipitation Delta18O across latitudes, even when different species are combined because climate gradients are greater than variations between taxa.
|Title||Data release for Oxygen isotopes of land snail shells in high latitude regions|
|Authors||Catherine Nield, Yurena Yanes, Jeffrey S Pigati, Jason A Rech, Ted von Proschwitz, Jeffrey C Nekola|
|Product Type||Data Release|
|Record Source||USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog|
|USGS Organization||Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center|