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Trophodynamics of euphausiids in the Amundsen Sea during the austral summer by fatty acid and stable isotopic signatures

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Title
Trophodynamics of euphausiids in the Amundsen Sea during the austral summer by fatty acid and stable isotopic signatures
Authors
Ko, Ah-Ra
Yang, Eun Jin
Kim, Min-Seob
Ju, Se-Jong
Subject
Oceanography
Keywords
Euphausia superb; Euphausia crystallorophias; Amundsen Sea Polynya; Fatty acid; Stable isotope; Araon
Issue Date
2016
Citation
Ko, Ah-Ra., et al. 2016. Trophodynamics of euphausiids in the Amundsen Sea during the austral summer by fatty acid and stable isotopic signatures. Deep-Sea ResearchII, 123(1): 78-85.
Abstract
The Amundsen Sea is characterized by a continental shelf, long-term sea ice, and many coastal polynyas with high biological productivity. Euphausia superba and Euphausia crystallorophias, which are dominant Antarctic krill, are major prey for most predators, such as fishes, birds, and marine mammals. An understanding of the feeding ecology of krill may provide the information for the structure and function of the Amundsen Sea ecosystem. Thus, we applied two biochemical approaches (fatty acids and stable isotopes) to determine the trophodynamics of adult krill in the Amundsen Sea. There were no significant differences in lipid contents between the two species, but the dominant storage lipids were different. Triacylglycerol (TAG) was dominant in E. superba, but wax esters (WE) were dominant in E. crystallorophias due to their different living strategies. Furthermore, the lipid content of E. crystallorophias displayed a spatial variation, being highest on the glacial edge. It was difficult to understand the feeding strategy and food source using only the fatty acid compositions of krill and in situ particulate organic matter. However, we found that specific FA ratios (18:1ω9/18:1ω7 and PUFA/SFA) and the nitrogen isotope ratio (δ15N) provide more insight into the feeding ecology of krill, such as feeding strategy and trophic position. These ratios suggest that E. crystallorophias consistently showed a higher degree of carnivorous feeding than E. superba in the Amundsen Sea during the austral summer. In conclusion, adult E. superba might more directly obtain their energy from in situ primary producers in the open sea, but, in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, adult E. crystallorophias seems to obtain their energy mainly through the microbial loop (microzooplankton). If so, E. crystallolophias would be a key player not only to transfer the energy from microbes to higher trophic levels but also to control the carbon and nitrogen cycle in the Amundsen Sea Polynya.
DOI
10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.04.023
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