Nitrogen stable isotope ratio in the manila clam, Ruditapes philippinarum, reflects eutrophication levels in tidal flats

Mar Pollut Bull. 2009 Oct;58(10):1447-53. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.06.018. Epub 2009 Jul 31.


Understanding the effects of anthropogenic eutrophication on coastal fisheries may help in the enhancement of fishery production by effective utilization of sewage effluents, as well as in the consequent reduction of eutrophication. In this study, it was revealed that the nitrogen stable isotope ratio (delta(15)N) in the soft tissues of the manila clam, Ruditapes philippinarum, can be used as an indicator of anthropogenic eutrophication levels in tidal flat environments by investigation of delta(15)N in dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), particulate organic matter (POM), sedimentary organic matter (SOM) and soft tissues of the clam in five tidal flats in Japan with different levels of DIN concentration. In addition, it was found that the acid insoluble fraction of the shell organic matrix, conchiolin, can be used as a proxy for the soft tissues in delta(15)N analyses. This will contribute in easier storage handling and the expansion of chances for sample acquisition.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bivalvia / chemistry*
  • Carbon Isotopes / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring / statistics & numerical data*
  • Eutrophication*
  • Geologic Sediments / analysis*
  • Japan
  • Nitrogen Isotopes / analysis*
  • Seawater / chemistry*


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Nitrogen Isotopes