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A review of marking techniques in arthropods and an introduction to elemental marking
- Akey, D.H.
- Supplement to the Southwestern entomologist 1991 v.14 pp. 1
- animal identification, arthropods, dyes, hosts, longevity, parasites, population density, radionuclides, species dispersal
- Ecological studies often investigate questions regarding population dispersal, density, and longevity by using a capture-mark-release-recapture method or some variation of it. Marking has been an integral part of such studies and can be divided into six categories: coding, dyes, dusts, radioisotopes, genetic, and elemental enrichment. Elemental composition can also be included in a broad definition. These methods are reviewed here. This paper is an introduction to a conference that focused on elemental enrichment as a marking technique. Elemental marking is defined as the establishment of an elemental concentration or content, in an individual, significantly higher than that carried by the indigenous population. The origin of the technique, history, and numerous questions regarding its appropriate application are discussed. The topics covered range from movement and dispersion studies to the complexities of trophic interactions across species, such as host to parasite.