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Decreased astaxanthin at high feeding rates in the calanoid copepod Acartia bifilosa
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
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2009 (English)In: Journal of Plankton Research, ISSN 0142-7873, E-ISSN 1464-3774, Vol. 31, no 6, 661-668 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In marine food webs, copepods are the major producers of a carotenoid  pigment astaxanthin, which is an important antioxidant. The availability of astaxanthin for higher trophic levels can be affected by changes in phytoplankton stocks and copepod feeding; however, the functional relationship between food availability and astaxanthin production is poorly understood. We hypothesized that with a given food  type and quality, astaxanthin content in copepods is positively related  to feeding and egg production rates. The hypothesis was tested by  measuring astaxanthin accumulation in concert with ingestion and egg production rates in the copepod Acartia bifilosa exposed to different algal concentrations (Tetraselmis suecica; 0 to 1200 mu g C L-1). Egg production and ingestion rates increased with increasing food availability and reached a plateau at >= 400-600 mu g C L-1. In contrast, increasing accumulation of astaxanthin with increasing food availability was observed only at concentrations <= 150 mu g C L-1. Contrary to our hypothesis, at 600-1200 mu g C L-1 copepods had maximal ingestion and egg production rates, but low astaxanthin contents. It is suggested that this low accumulation of astaxanthin at high food concentrations results from a food-dependant decrease in assimilation efficiency. These findings are important for the understanding of astaxanthin dynamics within marine food webs, where increases in phytoplankton biomass may translate to a trade-off between zooplankton quantity and its nutritional quality for zooplanktivores.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 31, no 6, 661-668 p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-120476DOI: 10.1093/plankt/fbp016ISI: 000265741700006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-120476DiVA: diva2:303407
Available from: 2010-03-12 Created: 2010-03-12 Last updated: 2010-07-29Bibliographically approved

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