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DeepIso - a global open database of stable isotope ratios and elemental contents for deep-sea ecosystems.

  • Michel, Loïc
  • Bell, James
  • Dubois, Stanislas
  • Le Pans, Mathilde
  • Lepoint, Gilles
  • Olu, Karine
  • Reid, William
  • Sarrazin, Jozée
  • Schaal, Gauthier
  • Hayden, Brian
Publication Date
Aug 17, 2021
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The use of stable isotopes as ecological tracers in deep-sea ecosystems has a long history, dating back to the late 1970’s. Stable isotopes have been instrumental to many key-findings about ecosystem functioning, particularly in chemosynthesis-based habitats (hydrothermal vents, cold seeps). However, constraining sampling logistics commonly limit the scope, extent, and therefore insights drawn from isotope-based deep-sea studies. Overall, much is left to discover about factors globally influencing food web structure in deep-sea ecosystems. In this context, deep-sea ecologists have to ensure that no sample is left unexploited, and that all generated data are easily discoverable, available and reusable. DeepIso is a collaborative effort to produce a global compilation of stable isotope ratios and elemental contents in organisms from deep-sea ecosystems. In doing so, it aims to provide the deep-sea community with an open data analysis tool that can be used in the context of future ecological research, and to help deep-sea researchers to use stable isotope markers at their full efficiency. More info about the project can be found at As of v1 (2020/10/22), the database contains 15 distinct datasets, for a total of 18677 fully documented measurements. Archived parameters currently include δ13C (n = 4587), δ15N (n = 4388), δ34S (n = 951), %C (n = 2740), %N (n = 2741), %S (n = 752) and C/N ratio (n = 2518). Those measurements pertain to 4378 distinct samples belonging to 493 taxa, plus sediments, suspended particulate organic matter, plankton and detritus. Samples were taken between 1989 and 2018 in multiple environments (hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, cold water coral reefs, and other benthic or pelagic environments) and at depths ranging up to 5209 meters. The database consists of three files: one containing the data itself, one describing all used terms (measurements or metadata, derived from Darwin Core standards,, and a changelog detailing changes made between successive versions.

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