Future Directions and Challenges for Using Stable Isotopes in Advancing Terrestrial Animal Migration Research Book uri icon


  • The intent of this volume was to provide the reader with a comprehensive background needed to understand the potential and the state-of-the-art in the application of stable isotope tools to the study of animal migration, and to encourage new research endeavors. Animal migration remains an exciting field that will provide many years of research for scientists in numerous disciplines. We have hopefully conveyed the idea that stable isotopes are not a "silver bullet" that will provide unambiguous insight into animal origins. The true potential of the isotope techniques will only be realized in cases where the researcher has been careful to first choose the species and migratory system that shows promise isotopically, and then considers the sources of variance in the model used to infer origins. The path ahead will involve far more emphasis on understanding the mechanisms that can influence isotopic variation spatially and within organisms of interest. It will also involve more careful consideration of how we statistically infer origins or establish the probability of assignment. Use of more refined isoscape models that involve several elements and the careful use of new remote sensing GIS layers will also be a fruitful area of research. Obviously, these areas of research and development are likely well beyond the scope of any single researcher or laboratory, and hence this field is sure to emerge as one of the best examples of multidisciplinary collaborative research. 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kelly, J. F., Bearhop, S., Bowen, G. J., Hobson, K. A., Norris, D. R., Wassenaar, L. I., West, J. B., & Wunder, M. B.

complete list of authors

  • Kelly, Jeffrey F||Bearhop, Stuart||Bowen, Gabriel J||Hobson, Keith A||Norris, D Ryan||Wassenaar, Leonard I||West, Jason B||Wunder, Michael B

publication date

  • January 1, 2008 11:11 AM