Stable isotope analysis can used to determine migration, diet, niche, parasite–host interactions, or condition of mammalian species. You’ve just got to know the tricks of the trade. (A mass spectrometer comes in handy, too.)
The April issue of the Journal of Mammalogy offers a primer on using stable isotope analysis in mammals. The 10 papers are based on a symposium at the 90th annual meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists in Laramie, Wyoming, in June 2010. One of the papers in the section aims to be a beginner’s guide, explaining the concepts and the techniques.
Best of all, the papers in this special section are open access. Read the April issue of the Journal of Mammalogy, here.