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Decreased astaxanthin at high feeding rates in the calanoid copepod Acartia bifilosa
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
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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 μg C L−1). Egg production and ingestion rates increased with increasing food availability and reached a plateau at ≥400–600 μg C L−1. In contrast, increasing accumulation of astaxanthin with increasing food availability was observed only at concentrations ≤150 μg C L−1. Contrary to our hypothesis, at 600–1200 μg 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:su:diva-29484DOI: 10.1093/plankt/fbp016ISI: 000265741700006OAI: diva2:233508
Available from: 2009-09-01 Created: 2009-09-01 Last updated: 2012-02-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Zooplankton growth and trophic linkages: Implications for fish feeding conditions in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Zooplankton growth and trophic linkages: Implications for fish feeding conditions in the Baltic Sea
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this Thesis was to improve our understanding and assessment of feeding conditions for zooplanktivorous fish in the Baltic Sea.

We investigated (papers I, II) the usefulness of biochemical proxies for assessments of growth and metabolic rates in the dominant Baltic copepod Acartia bifilosa. A predictive model (paper I) for egg production rate (EPR), based on body size, RNA content, and water temperature, was established using females of different geographical origin. This model demonstrates the usefulness of RNA content as a proxy for growth in zooplankton and, together with abundance data, it could be used to evaluate fish feeding conditions. Further (paper II), using A. bifilosa exposed to a food gradient, we evaluated responses of physiological rates and other biochemical proxies for growth and established correlations between physiological and biochemical variables. EPR and ingestion rate were most significantly correlated with RNA content. As assayed variables saturated at different food concentrations, food availability may affect assessments of physiological rates using proxies. In paper III, we explored the effect of high EPR and ingestion rate on astaxanthin content in A. bifilosa. We found that the astaxanthin content decreased at high feeding rates, most likely due to decreased assimilation efficiency. This may impact the quality of zooplankton as prey.

The invasion of Cercopagis pengoi, a zooplanktivorous cladoceran, has altered the trophic linkages in the Baltic Sea food web. In paper IV, we evaluated the feeding of zooplanktivorous fish on C. pengoi and found that irrespective of size both herring and sprat feed on it, with large herring being more selective. In turn, C. pengoi feeds mainly on older copepods (paper V), which are acknowledged important in fish nutrition. These results indicate that C. pengoi may compete with fish due to the diet overlap.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of System Ecology, Stockholm University, 2009. 38 p.
AARS activity, biochemical markers, Clupea harengus, copepod physiology, food web interactions, non-indigenous species, RNA-based indices, Sprattus sprattus, stable isotopes
National Category
Research subject
Marine Ecology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29485 (URN)978-91-7155-908-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-10-14, G-salen, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In progress. Paper 3: Submitted

Available from: 2009-09-22 Created: 2009-09-01 Last updated: 2012-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Holmborn, ToweHogfors, HedvigGorokhova, Elena
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