SS4.07 Lipids/Fatty Acids in Ecological Research
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Time: 3:15:00 PM
Location: Saanich
 
LitvinSY, New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium and Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers, Sandy Hook and New Brunswick, USA, slitvin@njmsc.org
Guida, V, G, National Marine Fisheries Service, Howard Laboratory, Sandy Hook, USA, Vincent.Guida@noaa.gov
Weinstein, M, P, New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium, Sandy Hook, USA, 
 
THE USE OF THIN LAYER CHROMATOGRAPHY WITH FLAME IONIZATION DETECTION (TLC/FID) TO ASSESS THE BIOCHEMICAL CONDITION OF JUVENILE WEAKFISH IN DELAWARE BAY
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As tertiary links in food webs, carnivores can be reliable indicators of the “health” of complex ecosystems. Thus, data on the intensity and direction of protein and fat deposition, and the concentration of whole body lipids can not only be used to assess the “degree of well being” of individuals, but may also be used to integrate the overall value of habitats into measures of secondary production. From previous research using stable isotopes, we determined that juvenile weakfish, Cynoscion regalis, exhibit seasonal residency in specific habitats throughout Delaware Bay. Given observed site fidelity, at least in the short term, we asked: can we infer that some estuarine habitats are more important than others in supporting weakfish production? To address this question we adopted a “biochemical condition” approach, examining whole fish energy reserves via lipid class analysis, employing thin layer chromatography with flame ionization detection (TLC/FID), plus total protein via proximal analysis. The effort focused on the specific measures of triacylglycerides (TAG) and free fatty acids to access the nutritional status of juveniles just prior to migration to over wintering areas.