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A comparison of the trophic transfer of fatty acids in freshwater plankton by cladocerans and calanoid copepods
- BURNS, CAROLYN W., BRETT, MICHAEL T., SCHALLENBERG, MARC
- Freshwater biology 2011 v.56 no.5 pp. 889-903
- Ceriodaphnia, Copepoda, Daphnia, arachidonic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, food quality, foods, laboratory experimentation, lakes, monounsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, zooplankton, New Zealand
- 1. Analyses of zooplankton fatty acid (FA) composition in laboratory experiments and samples collected from lakes in New Zealand spanning a wide gradient of productivity were used to assess the extent to which FAs might infer their diet. We used the cladocerans, Daphnia and Ceriodaphnia, and the calanoid copepod, Boeckella, as test organisms, and monocultures of cryptophytes, chlorophytes and cyanobacteria as food. Based on reproductive success, cryptophytes were the highest food quality, chlorophytes were intermediate and cyanobacteria the poorest. 2. Several FA groups were highly correlated between zooplankton and their diets. They were monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and ω3 and ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for cladocerans, and saturated fatty acids (SAFAs) and ω3 PUFAs for copepods. Several FAs varied significantly less in the zooplankton than in their monoculture diets, e.g. MUFAs in Daphnia, and ω3 and ω6 PUFAs in Ceriodaphnia, despite clear dietary dependency for these FAs. 3. Zooplankton collected from lakes in New Zealand had more eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (Daphnia), more highly unsaturated ω3 and ω6 FAs (C₂₀, C₂₂; Daphnia, Ceriodaphnia, Boeckella) and less ω3 C₁₈ PUFAs (Daphnia, Ceriodaphnia, Boeckella) and ω6 C₁₈ PUFAs (Daphnia, Ceriodaphnia) than measured in the same species reared on phytoplankton in the laboratory. 4. Analyses of FA composition of seston and freshwater zooplankton globally showed that, in general, zooplankton had a significantly higher proportion of arachidonic acid and EPA than seston, and copepods also had a higher percentage of docosahexaenoic acid than seston. 5. These results suggest that zooplankton selectively incorporate the most physiologically important FAs. This could be a consequence of preferential assimilation, selective feeding on more nutritious cells or locating and feeding within higher food quality food patches.