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Seasonal lipid dynamics of the shrimps Crangon crangon and Pandalus montagui in the German Bight (North Sea)

Diana Martínez-Alarcón*, Reinhard Saborowski, Eleni Melis, Wilhelm Hagen

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Environmental fluctuations can impose energetic constraints on organisms in terms of food shortage or compensation for metabolic stress. To better understand the biochemical strategies that support adaptive physiological processes in variable environments, we studied the lipid dynamics of the brown shrimp Crangon crangon and the pink shrimp Pandalus montagui by analysing their midgut glands during an annual cycle. Both species have an overlapping distribution range in the southern North Sea, but differ in their habitat preferences, reproductive strategies, and life-history traits. C. crangon showed minor total lipid accumulation in their midgut glands, ranging between 14% and 17% of dry mass (%DM), dominated by phospholipids. In contrast, P. montagui stored significantly larger amounts of total lipid (47-70% DM, mainly triacylglycerols) and showed a distinct seasonal cycle in lipid accumulation with a maximum in summer. Fatty acid trophic markers indicated a wide food spectrum for both species with higher preferences of P. montagui for microalgae. In C. crangon, feeding preferences were less distinct due the low total lipid levels in the midgut gland. Principal component analysis based on FA compositions of both species suggested that C. crangon has a broader dietary spectrum than P. montagui. C. crangon seems to have the capacity to utilize sufficient energy directly from ingested food to fuel all metabolic requirements, including multiple spawnings, without building up large lipid reserves in the midgut gland. P. montagui, in contrast, relies more on the energy storage function of the midgut gland to overcome food scarcity and to allocate lipids for reproduction.