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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 296:65-79 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps296065

Lipids as trophic markers in Antarctic krill. II. Lipid composition of the body and digestive gland of Euphausia superba in controlled conditions

Frédéric Alonzo1,2,3,5,*, Patti Virtue1, Stephen Nicol2, Peter D. Nichols3,4

1Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 77, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
2Australian Antarctic Division, Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, Australia
3CSIRO Marine Research, Castray Esplanade, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
4Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, GPO Box 252-77, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
5Present address: Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, Centre de Cadarache, BP 3, 13115 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance cedex, France

ABSTRACT: To examine the potential of lipids as dietary markers in Euphausia superba Dana, juvenile krill were fed 4 phytoplankton diets (diatoms, cryptomonads, dinoflagellates and thraustochytrids over a range of food concentrations) and 2 species of zooplankton (rotifers and Artemia sp.) for 20 d. Lipid content, lipid class and fatty acid (FA) composition were analysed for whole krill and digestive glands (DG). Changes detected in whole krill were almost entirely associated with the lipid variability observed in DG. With marked diet-induced changes, DG lipids were the major repository for the trophic signal in krill. DG lipid content increased in krill fed on phytoplankton due to the accumulation of polar lipid (0.5 mg per DG) and triacylglycerol (up to 1.7 mg per DG). Herbivorous diets induced distinct FA signatures in the DG, characterised by higher proportions of: 16:1ω7 and 20:5ω3 in diatom-fed krill; 18:1ω9 and 18:4ω3 in cryptomonad-fed krill; 18:1ω9, 18:4ω3+18:5ω3 and 22:6ω3 in dinoflagellate-fed krill; and 14:0 and 22:6ω3 in thraustochytrid-fed krill. Dietary FA markers increased in relative proportion (% total FA) in the DG with increasing concentration of each particular food. Krill fed rotifers or Artemia sp. showed relatively low DG lipid content, with only slightly higher proportions of 18:2ω6 than observed with phytoplankton diets. Zooplankton diets induced no significant difference in FA composition in relation to the species of zooplankton used as prey or to the algal type consumed by these prey.

KEY WORDS: Euphausia superba · Antarctic krill · Lipid class · Fatty acid · Trophic marker ·Digestive gland

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