Polar Biology

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 253–259 | Cite as

The occurrence of monounsaturated n-C21 and polyunsaturated C25 sedimentary hydrocarbons in the lipids of Antarctic marine organisms

  • G. C. Cripps
Original Paper

Abstract

Antarctic zooplankton have been found to be a potential source of sedimentary hydrocarbons. Monounsaturated C21 n-alkenes and highly branched polyunsaturated C25 n-alkenes were analysed in the aliphatic fraction of the lipids of Antarctic pelagic and inshore marine organisms. Cluster analysis of the species-based data set produced four main groups: phytoplankton, epipelagic herbivores, epipelagic carnivores and mesopelagic omnivores. The detailed pattern of alkenes exhibited differences within the groups and also with tissue type (krill, Euphausia superba). The origin of alkenes in Antarctic biota appeared to be either synthesis de novo or due to the condensation of smaller molecules. Formation of alkenes by the decarboxylation of fatty acids was not consistent with the hydrocarbon and fatty acid composition of Antarctic zooplankton. There was no evidence for direct assimilation of C21 and C25 alkenes by zooplankton or higher predators from their diet. Zooplankton C25 alkenes are probably transported unaltered directly to the sediment as detritus or via predators in faecal material. Sedimentary C25 alkenes are proposed as biomarkers of recent zooplankton activity in the water column.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Christie WW (1982) Lipid analysis, 2nd edn. Pergamon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Clarke A (1980) The biochemical composition of krill Euphausia superba Dana, from South Georgia. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 43:221–236Google Scholar
  3. Cripps GC (1989) The extraction and analysis of hydrocarbons in marine samples. British Antarctic Survey, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Cripps GC (1990) Hydrocarbons in the seawater and pelagic organisms of the Southern Ocean. Polar Biol 10:393–402Google Scholar
  5. Matsueda H, Handa N (1986) Source of organic matter in the sinking particles collected from the Pacific sector of the Antarctic Ocean by sediment trap experiment. Mem Natl Polar Res Spec Issue 40:364–379Google Scholar
  6. Nachman RJ (1985) Unusual predominance of even-carbon hydrocarbons in an Antarctic food chain. Lipids 20:629–633Google Scholar
  7. Nevenzel JC (1989) Biogenic hydrocarbons of marine organisms. In: Ackman RG (ed) Marine biogenic lipids, fats and oils, vol 1. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FlaGoogle Scholar
  8. Nichols PD, Volkman JK, Palmisano AC, Smith GA, White DC (1988) Occurrence of an isoprenoid C25 diunsaturated alkene and high neutral lipid content in Antarctic sea-ice diatom communities. J Phycol 24:90–96Google Scholar
  9. Nichols PS, Nichols PD, McMeekin TA (1993) Polyunsaturated fatty acids in Antarcit bacteria. Antartic Sci 5:149–160Google Scholar
  10. Pond D, Priddle J, Sargent J, Watkins JL (1993) Lipid composition of Antarctic microplankton in relation to the nurtition of krill. In: Heywood RB (ed) University research in Antarctica, 1989–92. Proceedings of the British antarctic Survey Antarctic Special Topic Award Scheme Round 2 Symposium 30 September–1 October 1992. British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, pp 133–140Google Scholar
  11. Reinhardt SB, Van Vleet ES (1986a) Lipid composition of twenty-two species of Antarctic midwater zooplankton and fish. Mar Biol 91:149–159Google Scholar
  12. Reinhardt SB, Van Vleet ES (1986b) Hydrocarbons of Antarctic midwater organisms. Polar Biol 6:47–51Google Scholar
  13. Rowland SJ, Robson JN (1990) The widespread occurence of highly branched acyclic C20, C25 and C30 hydrocarbons in recent sediments and biota — a review. Mar Environ Res 30:191–216Google Scholar
  14. Rowland SJ, Hird SJ, Robson JN, Venkatesan MI (1990) Hydrogenation behaviour of two highly branched C25 dienes from Antarctic marine sediments. Org Geochem 8:207–213Google Scholar
  15. Saliot A, Laureillard J, Scribe P, Sicre MA (1991) Evolutionary trends in the lipid biomarker approach for investigating the biogeochemistry of organic matter in the marine environment. Mar Chem 36:233–248Google Scholar
  16. Venkatesan MI (1988) Organic geochemistry of marine sediments in Antarctic region: marine lipids in McMurdo Sound. Org Geochem 12:13–27Google Scholar
  17. Ventakatesan MI, Kaplan IR (1987) The lipid geochemistry of Antarctic marine sediments: Bransfield Strait. Mar Chem 21:347–375Google Scholar
  18. Wilkinson L, Hill M, Welna JP, Birkenbeuel GK (1992) SYSYAT for Windows: Statistics, Version 5 edn. SYSTAT Evanston, IllGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Cripps
    • 1
  1. 1.British Antarctic SurveyNatural Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations