, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 41-47

Lipids and fatty acids in ice algae and phytoplankton from the Marginal Ice Zone in the Barents Sea

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Abstract

Samples of ice algae from the Marginal Ice Zone in the Barents Sea could be divided into two categories: one dominated by assemblages of Melosira arctica, and the other dominated by Nitzschia frigida and associated diatoms. Total lipid from the Melosira assemblages consisted of approximately equal amounts of polar lipids and triacylglycerols. Total lipid from the Nitzschia assemblages contained more triacylglycerols than polar lipids. Total lipid from the Melosira assemblages had higher percentages of C16 PUFA, especially 16:4(n-1) and 20:5(n-3), than that from the Nitzschia assemblages, this reflecting the higher percentages of both C16 PUFA and 20:5(n-3) in polar lipids than in triacylglycerols. Phytoplankton from the pelagic zone were␣richer in flagellates and contained less C16 PUFA and 20:5(n-3) but more C18 PUFA and 22:6(n-3). The dominance of diatoms in the ice-algae assemblages in the Marginal Ice Zone and their high nutritional value as a source of 20:5(n-3) for higher trophic levels are emphasised.

Received: 24 November 1997 / Accepted: 8 February 1998