Phosphorus distribution in three crustacean zooplankton species

Vrede, Tobias, Tom Andersen, Dag O. Hessen

Limnol. Oceanogr., 44(1), 1999, 225-229 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.1999.44.1.0225

ABSTRACT: The distribution of phosphorus (P) was assessed in homogeneously 33P-labeled Daphnia magna, Daphnia galeata and Eudiaptomus gracilis. The specific P contents were 1.48, 1.41, and 0.50% of dry weight (DW), respectively. The results support the view of low intraspecific variability in P : DW ratios in crustacean zooplankton. The fraction of P allocated to nucleic acids, phospholipids, and other P compounds was assessed in D. galeata and E. gracilis. In both species, the major pool, 35-69% of the total P content, was associated with nucleic acids. This fraction decreased with both body size (age) of D. galeata and E. gracilis and with the reproductive rate of D. galeata. D. magna and D. galeata revealed similar patterns of P allocation between body, carapace, and eggs. The carapace contained approximately 14% of the total P content. If most P is not reabsorbed from the exoskeleton prior to molting, the molting will result in a substantial P drain both from the individual and, at times, from the entire planktonic system.

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