Effects of dietary fatty acids on the reproductive success of the calanoid copepod Temora longicornis
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- Arendt, K.E., Jónasdóttir, S.H., Hansen, P.J. et al. Marine Biology (2005) 146: 513. doi:10.1007/s00227-004-1457-9
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Egg production and hatching success of the copepod Temora longicornis were measured in laboratory experiments and in the field (North Sea). In the laboratory, ingestion of four algal species (Thalassiosira weissflogii, Phaeocystis globosa, Isochrysis sp. and Dunaliella tertiolecta) was followed and the content of fatty acids in the algae was determined. The two food types (T. weissflogii and Isochrysis sp.) that provided the highest ingestion of carbon and long chain fatty acids also resulted in the highest egg production rate (Er) and hatching success (H%). In contrast, D. tertiolecta led to both low ingestion of carbon and long chain fatty acids, resulting in low reproductive success. There was a positive relationship between the amount of eicosapentaenoic fatty acid [20:5(n-3), EPA] ingested and Er and H%, and of the ratio between docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic fatty acid [22:6(n-3)/20:5(n-3), DHA/EPA] in the ingested food and H%. In the field, chlorophyll a and specific fatty acids were measured and protists were enumerated, in order to investigate the link between these factors and the reproductive success of T. longicornis. Hatching time was found to be related to temperature and exceeded 120 h at 6°C. No relationship was found between chlorophyll a and reproductive success (Er or H%). Er correlated with the concentration of diatoms and ciliates, which were the dominating protists in early spring, indicating that food quantity was the limiting factor for Er. As in the laboratory experiments, H% was dependent on the fatty acid DHA and the ratio of DHA/EPA, which indicates that the quality of eggs (H%) is linked to the quality of food.