Scientia Marina, Vol 72, No 2 (2008)

Fatty acid trophic markers and trophic links among seston, crustacean zooplankton and the siphonophore Nanomia cara in Georges Basin and Oceanographer Canyon (NW Atlantic)


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2008.72n2403

Sergio Rossi
Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Marsh J. Youngbluth
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Fort Pierce, Florida, United States

Charles A. Jacoby
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida, United States

Francesc Pagès
Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC), Barcelona, Spain

Xènia Garrofé
Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC), Barcelona, Spain

Abstract


Fatty acid concentrations expressed as percentages of total fatty acid pools in seston, stage V copepodites of Calanus finmarchicus, adults of the euphausiid Meganyctiphanes norvegica, and the physonect siphonophore Nanomia cara were used to elucidate trophic links in Georges Basin and Oceanographer Canyon in September 2003. Seston at both locations was refractory and comprised mainly of saturated fatty acids. Phytoplankton did not contribute significantly to the fatty acid composition of seston or higher trophic levels. Only four fatty acids, i.e. 14:0, 16:0, 16:1 (n–7) and 18:1 (n–7), were transferred from seston to C. finmarchicus or M. norvegica, which suggested weak trophic interactions. Fatty acids transferred from the two species of crustaceans to N. cara included the same four fatty acids, along with three polyunsaturated fatty acids found in relatively high concentrations in both crustaceans, i.e. 20:3 (n–6), 20:5 (n–3) and 22:6 (n–3). In addition, 18:1 (n–9), which occurred in relatively high concentrations only in M. norvegica, and 18:0 and 18:2 (n–6), which were found in low concentrations in both crustaceans, also appeared to be transferred to N. cara. Overall, fatty acid trophic markers proved useful for identifying trophic links to N. cara.

Keywords


atty acids; trophic relationships; siphonophora; Gulf of Maine

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References


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