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Natural Abundance of the Stable Isotopes of Carbon in Biological Systems

Bruce N. Smith
BioScience
Vol. 22, No. 4 (Apr., 1972), pp. 226-231
DOI: 10.2307/1296391
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1296391
Page Count: 6
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Natural Abundance of the Stable Isotopes of Carbon in Biological Systems
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Abstract

Within an organism metabolic processes lead to differences in isotopic content of various chemical fractions. Plant tissues exhibit a wide variation in 13 C/12 C ratios which is due primarily to differences in the carbon-fixation process. Animal tissues reflect the carbon isotope ratios of ingested food.

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