Stable isotopes are non-radioactive atoms of a particular chemical element which have the same number of protons but different number of neutrons. The relative abundance of the heavy compared with the light isotope (e.g. 13C/12C) is given the name isotopic signature or fingerprint and is represented by a delta symbol (δ) by means of the ratio of this proportion in the sample, with respect to international standards, giving the results in units per thousand (‰).


The Doñana Biological Station (EBD) Stable Isotope Laboratory (LIE) is equipped with a Mass Spectrometry system, supplied by Thermo Fisher Scientific, to measure the isotope ratios 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O, 34S/32S and 2H/1H in organic and inorganic, solid or liquid samples.


This Laboratory was founded thanks to funding from the project: “Adapting to Global Change in the Mediterranean hotspot: from genes to ecosystems (EcoGenes)”.




Here we give you a virtual tour of the EBD, funded through EcoGenes, in which you can see all the laboratories including the LIE.







DELTA V Advantage IRMS in continuous flow mode, with a system of 5 collectors for measuring isotopic ratios in N2, CO, NO, O2, CO2, N2O, SO2 and H2.




Flash HT Plus Elemental Analyzer connected to an IRMS via the Conflo IV. With two furnaces installed for two modes of operation: “Dynamic Flash Combustion” for isotopic analysis of C, N and S; and “High Temperature Conversion” for isotopic analysis of O and H.




Picarro L2130-i CRDS (Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy) Laser Spectrometer for continuously measuring the stable isotopes of Hydrogen and Oxygen in water and water vapour.






Latest News



New paper!: A native bird as a predator for the invasive apple snail, a novel rice field invader in Europe


New Paper!: Tracking data and retrospective analyses of diet reveal the consequences of loss of marine subsidies for an obligate scavenger, the Andean condor


Research report 2017 published Report LIE 2017


New Paper!: Feeding ecology of Mediterranean common dolphins: The importance of mesopelagic fish in the diet of an endangered subpopulation


New Paper!: Diet of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Gulf of Cadiz: Insights from stomach content and stable isotope analyses


New Paper!: Trophic habits of an abundant shark in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea using an isotopic non-lethal approach


New laboratory e-mail:, for any request!


2017 New analysis fees published on "Services" tab: New Fees


New Paper!: Feeding ecology and trophic relationships of pelagic sharks and billfishes coexisting in the central eastern Pacific Ocean


New Paper!: Feeding habits of three Batoids in the Levantine Sea (north-eastern Mediterranean Sea) based on stomach content and isotopic data


New Paper!: Lipid effects on isotopic values in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and their prey with implications for diet assessment


Breaking news!: Why we need a centralized repository for isotopic data (Read more)


Research report 2016 published Report 2016


New Paper!: Intra- and interspecific niche partitioning in striped and common dolphins inhabiting the southwestern Mediterranean Sea


New scientific project: Understanding trophic ecology of the California kingsnake, a new invasive species in Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain)


New Paper!: Feeding ecology of two demersal opportunistic predators coexisting in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea


New Paper!: Assessing the trophic ecology of three sympatric squid in the marine ecosystem off the Patagonian Shelf by combining stomach content and stable isotopic analyses


An online temperature-controlled vacuum equilibration preparation system for the measurement of δ2H values of nonexchangeable-H and of δ18O values in organic materials by isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (Read more)