Polyunsaturated fatty acids in zooplankton: variation due to taxonomy and trophic position
2006 (English)In: Freshwater Biology, Vol. 51, 887-900 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
1. Food quality has major effects on the transfer of energy and matter in food webs, and
essential long-chained polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can affect the quality of
phytoplankton as food. In a study of oligotrophic lakes in north-western Sweden, we
investigated the fatty acid composition of four planktonic cladocerans and two calanoid
copepods, representing herbivorous and carnivorous species. We also collected seston
2. The proportions of long-chain PUFAs in the organisms increased with their increasing
trophic position. Thus, both their quality as food for other organisms, as well as their
requirement for fatty acids (FAs), differed among taxa and depended on their trophic
3. We found taxon-specific differences in the FA composition of zooplankton that were not
related to sestonic FA composition. This implies that the variation in zooplankton FA
composition is constrained by phylogenetic origin, life history characteristics, or both.
4. The cladoceran taxa contained 12–23% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) but only 0.9–2.1%
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) of the total FA content. In contrast, the calanoid copepods
contained 7–11% EPA and 14–21% DHA. Thus, our results show that differences in the
PUFA content among zooplankton species could have repercussions for both food web
structure and function.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 51, 887-900 p.
Cladocera, Copepoda, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, food quality
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-23200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-23200DiVA: diva2:50974