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Thiamine dynamics in the pelagic food web of the Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. (EcoChange)
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 [en]
Thiamine, Vitamin B1, Baltic Sea, M74
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89192ISBN: 978-91-7447-707-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-89192DiVA: diva2:616339
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
List of papers
1. The thiamine content of phytoplankton cells is affected by abiotic stress and growth rate
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The thiamine content of phytoplankton cells is affected by abiotic stress and growth rate
2013 (English)In: Microbial Ecology, ISSN 0095-3628, E-ISSN 1432-184X, Vol. 65, no 3, 566-77 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Thiamine (vitamin B1) is produced by many plants, algae and bacteria, but by higher trophic levels, it must be acquired through the diet. We experimentally investigated how the thiamine content of six phytoplankton species belonging to five different phyla is affected by abiotic stress caused by changes in temperature, salinity and photon flux density. Correlations between growth rate and thiamine content per cell were negative for the five eukaryotic species, but not for the cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena. We demonstrate a high variability in thiamine content among phytoplankton species, with the highest content in N. spumigena. Salinity was the factor with the strongest effect, followed by temperature and photon flux density, although the responses varied between the investigated phytoplankton species. Our results suggest that regime shifts in phytoplankton community composition through large-scale environmental changes has the potential to alter the thiamine availability for higher trophic levels. A decreased access to this essential vitamin may have serious consequences for aquatic food webs.

National Category
Other Biological Topics Ecology Microbiology
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89149 (URN)10.1007/s00248-012-0156-1 (DOI)000317421000005 ()23263236 (PubMedID)
Funder
Formas, 21.9/2003-1033Formas, 21.0/2004-0313EU, European Research Council, FiV Dnr 231-0692-04
Available from: 2013-04-15 Created: 2013-04-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Oxidative stress and food quality regulate astaxanthin and thiamine dynamics in the copepod Temora longicornis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Oxidative stress and food quality regulate astaxanthin and thiamine dynamics in the copepod Temora longicornis
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89191 (URN)
Available from: 2013-04-16 Created: 2013-04-16 Last updated: 2013-04-16Bibliographically approved
3. Bottom-up control of mesozooplankton thiamine levels in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bottom-up control of mesozooplankton thiamine levels in the Baltic Sea
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thiamine (vitamin B1) is an essential vitamin for many organisms, including all animals. In aquatic systems it is synthesised by prokaryotes and photoautotrophs and transferred to higher trophic levels through predation. This study quantifies for the first time the in situ thiamine concentrations of plankton communities in the brackish Baltic Sea area and analyses which environmental and biotic factors regulate these concentrations. Samples from 93 off-shore stations covering different seasons and two years (2004 and 2005) were included in the analyses. The thiamine concentrations in the phyto- and mesozooplankton varied with season and community composition. Phytoplankton thiamine concentrations were highest in August, which was most likely due to high abundances of thiamine-rich cyanobacteria, and those in the zooplankton were highest in November. The thiamine concentrations in the zooplankton were positively correlated to those in the phytoplankton, which suggests a bottom-up effect for the thiamine status of the zooplankton and possibly also for that of higher trophic levels. A positive correlation between the concentrations of thiamine and the antioxidant zooplankton pigment astaxanthin may indicate an aetiology of thiamine deficiency involving oxidative stress. In both plankton fractions the concentrations of the active vitamin, thiamine diphosphate (TDP), were negatively correlated to phytoplankton C:P ratios, suggesting a coupling between low TDP concentrations and cellular P-limitation in the phytoplankton. Significantly lower TDP concentrations were observed in the phyto- and zooplankton communities in 2005 than in 2004. P-limitation in the phytoplankton cells in 2005 was not related to low availability of dissolved inorganic P in the water. Our results suggest that a low intracellular P-availiability hinders the phosphorylation of thiamine to TDP inside the phytoplankton cells despite the availability of enough P in the water and enough free thiamine in the cells. Further studies are needed to explain the mechanism behind these field observations.

National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89151 (URN)
Available from: 2013-04-15 Created: 2013-04-15 Last updated: 2013-04-16Bibliographically approved
4. Temporal variations in thiamine content of Baltic herring are associated with thiamine deficiency in Baltic Salmon
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Temporal variations in thiamine content of Baltic herring are associated with thiamine deficiency in Baltic Salmon
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89152 (URN)
Available from: 2013-04-15 Created: 2013-04-15 Last updated: 2013-04-16Bibliographically approved
5. Thiamine concentrations in the Baltic Sea pelagic food web decrease with increasing trophic level
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Thiamine concentrations in the Baltic Sea pelagic food web decrease with increasing trophic level
(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:nbn:se:su:diva-89154 (URN)
Available from: 2013-04-15 Created: 2013-04-15 Last updated: 2013-04-16Bibliographically approved

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