SS4.07 Lipids/Fatty Acids in Ecological Research
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Time: 9:30:00 AM
Location: Saanich
 
JonasdottirSH, Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Department of Marine Ecology and Aquaculture, Charlottenlund, Denmark, sjo@dfu.min.dk
 
Lipids: an indicator of food quality for marine zooplankton?
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Food quality studies with marine zooplankton are no longer in their infancy, even though they are still relatively few and far between. Steadily more marine copepodologist have started to use biochemical tools in their search for understanding the limitations of population growth with somewhat variable results. In my presentation I will summarize results from these studies for marine copepods with the emphasis on growth. Various biochemical substances have been used to parameterize food quality such as C/N ratio and amino acids. Studies on fatty acids as an indicator of food quality for marine copepods only go back a decade while similar studies on sterols are scarce. Results from the different studies are starting to show that we are dealing with a complex system where, among others, species-specific differences and toxicity of phytoplankton can confuse the picture. However, a pattern is emerging that should help future focus in the field. Copepod egg production rates and hatching success are not controlled by the same nutritional factors. Egg production rates show an inconsistent correlation with various essential fatty acids, while hatching success of eggs appears to be very sensitive to specific fatty acid content of the food. I will discuss these results and conclude with where I see the direction of the future research areas within food quality and marine copepod studies.