Mother-embryo isotope (δ¹⁵N, δ¹³C) fractionation and mercury (Hg) transfer in aplacental deep-sea sharks

J Fish Biol. 2014 May;84(5):1574-81. doi: 10.1111/jfb.12357. Epub 2014 Mar 24.


Stable carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) isotopic values and total mercury (Hg) concentrations were analysed in muscle and liver of mothers and embryos of two aplacental shark species, Squalus megalops and Centrophorus moluccensis. Embryos of the two species had similar or lower isotopic values than their respective mothers, the only exception being for δ¹³C, which was higher in the liver of C. moluccensis embryos than in their mothers. Hg concentrations were systematically lower in embryos compared with their mothers suggesting a low transfer of this element in muscle and liver.

Keywords: elasmobranchs; isotopic differences; maternal influence; trace metal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Isotopes / analysis
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / chemistry*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Liver / chemistry*
  • Mercury / analysis*
  • Muscles / chemistry*
  • Nitrogen Isotopes / analysis
  • Sharks*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Mercury