Kenton, a M.Sc. student, is involved in an ambitious project that will see to us quantifying the spatial distribution of nitrogen inputs into the Sable Island system to affect vegetation patterns and subsequently horse diet. Kenton`s research has three main goals:
- Develop an isoscape of Sable Island specifically examining the concentrations of nitrogen (15N/14N) and carbon (13C/12C) in soil and vegetation samples using stable isotope analysis.
- Use stable isotope analysis to determine the contribution of both grey seal and tern populations’ transference of nutrients from the ocean to the island, thus affecting the isoscape; and,
- Examine the presence of seal or tern isotope values within a first level consumer, the wild horses, to determine the presence of an indirect effect on the wild horse population.
Kenton`s project is one of our first to examine inter-species interactions on Sable Island. His project is in collaboration with Dr. Don Bowen of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Fisheries and Oceans Canada).