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Astaxanthin dynamics in Baltic Sea mesozooplankton communities
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Sea Research, ISSN 1385-1101, E-ISSN 1873-1414, Vol. 85, 131-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The red pigment astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, which occurs in eggs and body tissues of crustaceans and fish. It is produced by crustaceans from algal carotenoids. In a two-year field study we assessed natural concentrations and dynamics of astaxanthin in mesozooplankton communities in the brackish Baltic Sea area. Astaxanthin levels varied between 0.37 and 36 ng L-1. They increased with salinity along the Baltic Sea gradient and were linked to zooplankton biomass and phytoplankton community composition. Astaxanthin concentrations showed typical seasonal patterns and varied from 0.2 to 5.1 ng ind(-1), 0.2 to 3.4 ng (mu g C)(-1) and 6 to 100 ng mm(-3). These concentrations were inversely related to water temperature and strongly linked to zooplankton community composition. Communities dominated by the calanoid copepods Temora longicornis, Pseudocalanus acuspes and Eurytemora spp. generally held the highest concentrations. With increasing cladocerans:copepods biomass ratios community astaxanthin. concentrations decreased and with higher relative biomass of Acartia spp. the proportion of astaxanthin diesters decreased. Diesters prevailed in the cold season and they are thought to improve the antioxidant protection of storage lipids during winter. Climate change causes higher temperature and lower salinity in the Baltic Sea proper. This modifies zooplankton community composition, but not necessarily into a community with lower concentrations of astaxanthin since T. longicornis (high concentrations) has been reported to increase with higher temperature. However, decreased astaxanthin production in the ecosystem is expected if a basin-wide increase in the cladocerans:copepods biomass ratios would occur with further climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 85, 131-143 p.
Keyword [en]
Astaxanthin, Antioxidant, Carotenoid, Copepods, Cladocerans, Phytoplankton
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-101014DOI: 10.1016/j.seares.2013.04.015ISI: 000329884700013OAI: diva2:699459


Available from: 2014-02-27 Created: 2014-02-21 Last updated: 2016-05-24Bibliographically approved

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Snoeijs, Pauline
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