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Thiamine concentrations in the Baltic Sea pelagic food web decrease with increasing trophic level
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thiamine deficiency in top predators has been reported from several aquatic systems. In the Baltic populations of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) this has been observed since 1974, but knowledge of thiamine levels in its prey species is limited. To address this, we measured thiamine concentrations in different tissues of the major Baltic planktivores, Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) and Baltic sprat (Sprattus sprattus balticus). Additionally, we measured thiamine concentrations in the major pelagic top predator fish in the Baltic Sea, the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and its prey species along with sprat and herring, the benthic isopod Saduria entomon. Field sampling was conducted during five offshore expeditions in the Baltic Sea proper in 2004, 2005 and 2010. Thiamine was analysed in liver, gonad, stomach and muscle tissues of the fish and the whole body of the isopod. Liver generally had the highest concentrations and muscle tissue the lowest. In contrast to previous reports from other aquatic ecosystems, there was a negative relationship between trophic level and thiamine in the Baltic Sea. Temporal fluctuations of thiamine concentrations in the fish showed the same pattern as previously shown for Baltic plankton communities. Altogether these results suggest a bottom up effect on the thiamine status of the higher trophic levels in the Baltic Sea, possibly influencing the occurrence of thiamine deficiency in Baltic top predators.

National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89154OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-89154DiVA: diva2:616049
Available from: 2013-04-15 Created: 2013-04-15 Last updated: 2013-04-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Thiamine dynamics in the pelagic food web of the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Thiamine dynamics in the pelagic food web of the Baltic Sea
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thiamine (vitamin B1) is involved in several basal metabolic processes. It is an essential compound for many organisms and in aquatic systems it is mainly produced by phytoplankton and prokaryotes and transferred to higher trophic levels through grazing and predation. The occurrence of thiamine deficiency in top predators has been reported from several aquatic systems. In the Baltic populations of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) this has been observed since 1974 and recently thiamine deficiency has also been reported for Baltic sea birds.

This thesis aims at investigating what processes that governs the flow of thiamine from the primary producers to top predators via zooplankton grazers and planktivoric fish. Paper I showed that abiotic stress factors such as salinity, temperature and light conditions can alter the thiamine content of phytoplankton. Paper II showed that abiotic factors indirectly can affect the stress resistance of zooplankton grazers by changing the nutritional quality of their food. In Paper III we found that the in situ thiamine content of zooplankton grazers was directly affected by that of the phytoplankton diet. In Paper IV we found a similar connection between the thiamine contents of Baltic salmon and herring, one of the major salmon prey species. In Paper V we looked at the thiamine content of the pelagic food web of the Baltic Sea as a whole and found a pattern of trophic dilution; the higher the trophic level of an organism (i.e. the further away from the source of thiamine in the food web), the lower was its thiamine content.

In all, the results of this thesis suggests a bottom up effect on the thiamine status of the higher trophic levels of  the Baltic Sea and that external factors, both natural and man-made, have the capability to affect the thiamine status of the plankton communities and thereby the whole Baltic ecosystem. Thiamine and other micronutrients are not something generally considered in the environmental management of aquatic systems but the results of this thesis suggest that ecological disturbances indirectly can have negative effects on top predators via a disrupted supply of essential substances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2013. 35 p.
Keyword
Thiamine, Vitamin B1, Baltic Sea, M74
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89192 (URN)978-91-7447-707-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-31, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 21.9/2003-1033Swedish Research Council Formas, 21.0/2004-0313EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, FiV Dnr 231-0692-04
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-05-07 Created: 2013-04-16 Last updated: 2017-09-12Bibliographically approved

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