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Diet-specific biomarkers show that high-quality phytoplankton fuels herbivorous zooplankton in large boreal lakes
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Eastern Finland, Finland.
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2014 (English)In: Freshwater Biology, ISSN 0046-5070, E-ISSN 1365-2427, Vol. 59, no 9, 1902-1915 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

1. The zooplankton is a key link in the transfer of energy from primary producers up through aquatic food webs. Previous efforts to quantify the importance of basal resources to aquatic consumers have used stable isotopes (SI) and simple ternary models, including only 'bulk' phytoplankton, bacteria or terrestrial particulate organic matter (t-POM). 2. We used a novel Bayesian mixing model based on fatty acids (FA) to quantify the dietary assimilation of seven basal resources, including five phytoplankton groups, pelagic bacteria and t-POM, to Cladocera in large boreal lakes in Finland. To account for trophic enrichment of FA from the diet to consumers, we parameterised the model with a resource library, from many feeding trials, consisting of Daphnia magna fed 22 diverse basal taxa. 3. The results of the feeding trials show that the distinctive FA profiles of algal groups are transferred to consumers. Moreover, the large number of FA variables (n = 22) used in the model avoids the limitations of underdetermined mixing problems, common to SI modelling, in cases when the number of resources outnumbers the tracer variables. 4. We show that cladocerans were generally supported by phytoplankton (86-94%), with little use of t-POM (1-9%) and bacteria (1-3%). Cladocerans used primarily high-quality phytoplankton (cryptophytes, diatoms and dinoflagellates) in both summer (51 +/- 22%) and autumn (79 +/- 12%), and the relative importance of medium-quality resources (cyanobacteria, chlorophytes and chrysophytes) declined from 37 +/- 23% in the summer to 8 +/- 2% in the autumn. 5. High-quality resources, rich in essential biochemical compounds, are critical in fuelling food webs in large lakes, even those with high concentrations of allochthonous organic matter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 59, no 9, 1902-1915 p.
Keyword [en]
allochthony, Bayesian mixing model, Daphnia, fatty acids, resource partitioning
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106895DOI: 10.1111/fwb.12394ISI: 000339480500010OAI: diva2:741960


Available from: 2014-08-29 Created: 2014-08-26 Last updated: 2014-08-29Bibliographically approved

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