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MEPS 609:133-149 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12837

Lipid and fatty acid turnover of the pteropods Limacina helicina, L. retroversa and Clione limacina from Svalbard waters

Lauris Boissonnot1,2,*, Barbara Niehoff1, Benedikt Ehrenfels2,3, Janne E. Søreide2, Wilhelm Hagen4, Martin Graeve1

1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
2University Centre in Svalbard, 9171 Longyearbyen, Norway
3University of Bayreuth, Universitätsstrasse 30, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
4BreMarE Bremen Marine Ecology, Marine Zoology, University of Bremen, 28334 Bremen, Germany
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: This study aimed at a better understanding of the fatty acid (FA) turnover in Arctic pteropods. Thecosome pteropods, i.e. Limacina helicina (juveniles and adults) and L. retroversa (adults), were collected in summer/autumn in Kongsfjorden and Isfjorden (Svalbard, 78° N) and, for the first time, successfully fed with 13C-labeled algae for 6 d. The gymnosome pteropod Clione limacina was sampled in summer in northern Svalbard and fed with 13C-labeled L. retroversa for 23 d. FA compositions were determined by gas chromatography, and 13C enrichment of FAs was analyzed by compound-specific isotope analysis. Among the thecosomes, maximum lipid turnover occurred in L. retroversa adults (1.3% d-1). L. helicina adults and juveniles showed lower lipid turnover rates (0.1 and 0.2% d-1, respectively). The thecosomes exhibited the ability to assimilate omega-3 FAs (up to 8.0% d-1). The lipid turnover rate of C. limacina averaged at only 0.07% d-1. However, C. limacina clearly showed the unusual capacity of de novo synthesis of odd-chain FAs (up to 1.2% d-1). Lipid turnover rates of pteropods were lower than those reported for Arctic copepods. However, pteropods may play a substantial role in the transfer of lipids to higher trophic levels, especially in autumn, when copepods have descended from the upper layers of the water column. The pteropods also showed the capacity to channel particular compounds such as omega-3 and odd-chain FAs, and therefore could be important for the functional diversity of the Arctic zooplankton community.


KEY WORDS: Fatty acid assimilation · Trophic transfer · Omega-3 fatty acids · 13C labeling · Compound-specific isotope analysis · CSIA · Arctic


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Cite this article as: Boissonnot L, Niehoff B, Ehrenfels B, Søreide JE, Hagen W, Graeve M (2019) Lipid and fatty acid turnover of the pteropods Limacina helicina, L. retroversa and Clione limacina from Svalbard waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 609:133-149. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12837

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