Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 5, pp 1095–1105 | Cite as

Seasonal patterns in fatty acids of Calanus hyperboreus (Copepoda, Calanoida) from Cumberland Sound, Baffin Island, Nunavut

  • Bailey C. McMeans
  • Michael T. Arts
  • Scott A. Rush
  • Aaron T. Fisk
Original Paper


The marine copepod Calanus hyperboreus accumulates large quantities of lipids and essential fatty acids during summer months in Northern oceans. However, few data exist regarding their winter fatty acid profiles, which could be informative regarding the use of lipids by C. hyperboreus to successfully survive and reproduce during times of ice-cover and limited food. The present study compared fatty acids of C. hyperboreus between summer (August 2007 and 2008) and winter (early April 2008 and 2009) in Cumberland Sound, Canada. Summer samples from both years had significantly higher ∑polyunsaturated fatty acids and unsaturation indices (based on μg fatty acid mg dry tissue−1) than winter samples and separated on a principal component analysis due to higher 18:2n-6, 18:4n-3, and 20:5n-3, consistent with phytoplankton consumption. Winter C. hyperboreus had significantly higher ∑monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) versus summer samples and separated on the principal component analysis due to higher proportions of 16:1n-7, 20:1n-9, and 22:1n-9, suggesting they were not actively feeding. Based on the seasonal fatty acid comparison, C. hyperboreus was catabolizing specific fatty acids (e.g. 20:5n-3), conserving others (e.g. 22:6n-3), and maintaining or increasing biosynthesis of certain MUFA (e.g. 18:1n-9) during winter. These findings provide insight into the seasonal strategy of acquisition (summer) and utilization (winter) of specific fatty acids by a key Arctic organism and could become important for monitoring changes in fatty acids associated with decreased ice-cover duration due to climate warming.


Phytoplankton Fatty Acid Profile Summer Sample Specific Fatty Acid Winter Sample 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are indebted to J. Chao for his help with fatty acid quantification and identification. We also thank M. Rudy and S. Wolfaardt (Environment Canada) for their help with lipid analyses, J. Brush (University of Windsor) for assistance with field collections, the Environmental Research Division of the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and the Ocean Biology Products Group of NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center for the satellite data, and four anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. This study was funded by a grant from the Government of Canada Program for International Polar Year 2007/2008 (ATF and MTA, grant IPY C144) and Environment Canada (MTA).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Aitken AE, Gilbert R (1989) Holocene nearshore environments and sea-level history in Pangnirtung fjord, Baffin Island, NWT, Canada. Arct Alp Res 21(1):34–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Albers CS, Kattner G, Hagen W (1996) The compositions of wax esters, triacylglycerols and phospholipids in Arctic and Antarctic copepods: evidence of energetic adaptations. Mar Chem 55(3–4):347–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arts MT, Kohler CC (2009) Health and condition in fish: the influence of lipids on membrane competency and immune response. In: Arts MT, Brett MT, Kainz M (eds) Lipids in aquatic ecosystems. Springer, New York, pp 237–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arts MT, Ackman RG, Holub BJ (2001) “Essential fatty acids” in aquatic ecosystems: a crucial link between diet and human health and evolution. Can J Fish Aqu Sci 58(1):122–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brett MT, Muller-Navarra DC, Persson J (2009) Crustacean zooplankton fatty acid composition. In: Arts MT, Brett MT, Kainz M (eds) Lipids in aquatic ecosystems. Springer, New York, pp 115–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cavalieri D, Markus T, Comiso J (2004) AMSR-E/aqua daily L3 12.5 km brightness temperature, sea ice concentration, & snow depth polar grids V002. March 2007 to December 2008Google Scholar
  7. Clarke A (1983) Life in cold water: the physiological ecology of polar marine ectotherms. Oceanogr Mar Biol 21:341–453Google Scholar
  8. Conover RJ (1967) Reproductive cycle, early development, and fecundity in laboratory populations of the copepod Calanus hyperboreus. Crustaceana 13(1):61–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Conover RJ (1988) Comparative life histories in the genera Calanus and Neocalanus in high latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Hydrobiologia 167(1):127–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Conover RJ, Siferd TD (1993) Dark-season survival strategies of coastal zone zooplankton in the Canadian Arctic. Arctic 46(4):303–311Google Scholar
  11. Daase M, Søreide JE, Martynova D (2011) Effects of food quality on naupliar development in Calanus glacialis at subzero temperatures. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 429:111–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dunbar MJ (1951) Eastern arctic waters. Fish Res Board Can Bull 88:1–31Google Scholar
  13. Falk-Petersen S, Sargent JR, Tande KS (1987) Lipid composition of zooplankton in relation to the sub-Arctic food web. Polar Biol 8(2):115–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Falk-Petersen S, Mayzaud P, Kattner G, Sargent JR (2009) Lipids and life strategy of Arctic Calanus. Mar Biol Res 5(1):18–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fodor E, Jones RH, Buda C, Kitajka K, Dey I, Farkas T (1995) Molecular architecture and biophysical properties of phospholipids during thermal adaptation in fish: an experimental and model study. Lipids 30(12):1119–1126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Folch J, Lees M, Sloane-Stanley GH (1957) A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissues. J Biol Chem 226(1):497–509Google Scholar
  17. Gladyshev MI, Arts MT, Sushchik NN (2009) Preliminary estimates of the export of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (EPA + DHA) from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems. In: Arts MT, Brett MT, Kainz M (eds) Lipids in aquatic ecosystems. Springer, New York, pp 179–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Graeve M, Kattner G, Hagen W (1994) Diet-induced changes in the fatty acid composition of Arctic herbivorous copepods: experimental evidence of trophic markers. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 182(1):97–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Graeve M, Albers CS, Kattner G (2005) Assimilation and biosynthesis of lipids in Arctic Calanus species based on feeding experiments with a 13C labelled diatom. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 317(1):109–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Grainger EH (1971) Biological oceanographic observations in Frobisher Bay I. Physical, nutrient and primary production data, 1967–1971. Fish Res Board Can Tech Rep 265:1–75Google Scholar
  21. Hirche HJ, Niehoff B (1996) Reproduction of the Arctic copepod Calanus hyperboreus in the Greenland Sea-field and laboratory observations. Polar Biol 16(3):209–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hirche HJ, Hagen W, Mumm N, Richter C (1994) The Northeast Water polynya, Greenland Sea. Polar Biol 14(7):491–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Holm S (1979) A simple sequentially rejective multiple test procedure. Scand J Stat 6:65–70Google Scholar
  24. Hopkins C, Tande K, Gronvik S, Sargent J (1984) Ecological investigations of the zooplankton community of balsfjorden, Northern Norway: an analysis of growth and overwintering tactics in relation to niche and environment in Metridia longa (Lubbock), Calanus finmarchicus (Gunnerus), Thysanoessa inermis (Krøyer) and T. raschi (M. Sars). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 82 (1):77–99Google Scholar
  25. Hsiao SIC (1988) Spatial and seasonal variations in primary production of sea ice microalgae and phytoplankton in Frobisher Bay, Arctic Canada. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 44:275–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hsiao SIC (1992) Dynamics of ice algae and phytoplankton in Frobisher Bay. Polar Biol 12(6):645–651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kahru M, Brotas V, Manzano-Sarabia M, Mitchell B (2011) Are phytoplankton blooms occurring earlier in the Arctic? Global Change Biol 17:1733–1739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kainz M, Arts MT, Mazumder A (2004) Essential fatty acids in the planktonic food web and their ecological role for higher trophic levels. Limnol Oceanogr 49(5):1784–1793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kattner G, Hagen W (1995) Polar herbivorous copepods-different pathways in lipid biosynthesis. ICES J Mar Sci 52(3–4):329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kattner G, Hagen W (2009) Lipids in marine copepods: latitudinal characteristics and perspectives to global warming. In: Arts MT, Brett MT, Kainz M (eds) Lipids in aquatic ecosystems. Springer, New York, pp 257–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kattner G, Hirche HJ, Krause M (1989) Spatial variability in lipid composition of calanoid copepods from Fram Strait, the Arctic. Mar Biol 102(4):473–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lee RF (1974) Lipid composition of the copepod Calanus hyperboreus from the Arctic Ocean. Changes with depth and season. Mar Biol 26 (4):313–318Google Scholar
  33. Lee RF, Hirota J (1973) Wax esters in tropical zooplankton and nekton and the geographical distribution of wax esters in marine copepods. Limnol Oceanogr 18(2):227–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lee RF, Nevenzel JC, Paffenhöfer GA (1972) The presence of wax esters in marine planktonic copepods. Naturwissenschaften 59(9):406–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mathias J, Keast M (1996) Status of the Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) fishery in Cumberland Sound, Baffin Island 1987–95. NAFO SCR documents 96/71:20 pGoogle Scholar
  36. McGarigal K, Cushman S (2000) Multivariate statistics for wildlife and ecology research. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. O’Reilly JE, Maritorena S, Siegel D, O’Brien M, Toole D, Greg Mitchell B, Kahru M, Chavez F, Strutton P, Cota G, Hooker S, McClain C, Carder K, Muller-Karger F, Harding L, Magnuson A, Phinney D, Moore G, Aiken J, Arrigo K, Letelier R, Culver M (2000) Ocean color chlorophyll a algorithms for SeaWiFS, OC2, and OC4: Version 4. SeaWiFS Postlaunch Technical Report 11, SeaWiFS Postlaunch Calibration and Validation Analyses, Part 3:9–23Google Scholar
  38. Oksanen J, Guillaume Blanchet F, Kindt R, Legendre P, O’Hara RB, Simpson GL, Solymos P, Henry M, Stevens H, Wagner H (2010) Vegan: community ecology package. R package version 117-4. http://CRANR-projectorg/package=vegan
  39. Parrish CC (2009) Essential fatty acids in aquatic food webs. In: Arts MT, Brett MT, Kainz MJ (eds) Lipids in aquatic ecosystems. Springer, New York, pp 309–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. R Development Core Team (2010) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
  41. Sargent J, Falk-Petersen S (1988) The lipid biochemistry of calanoid copepods. Hydrobiologia 167(1):101–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schlechtriem C, Arts MT, Zellmer ID (2006) Effect of temperature on the fatty acid composition and temporal trajectories of fatty acids in fasting Daphnia pulex (Crustacea, Cladocera). Lipids 41(4):397–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Scott CL, Kwasniewski S, Falk-Petersen S, Sargent JR (2002) Species differences, origins and functions of fatty alcohols and fatty acids in the wax esters and phospholipids of Calanus hyperboreus, C. glacialis and C. finmarchicus from Arctic waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 235:127–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Seuthe L, Darnis G, Riser CW, Wassmann P, Fortier L (2007) Winter–spring feeding and metabolism of Arctic copepods: insights from faecal pellet production and respiration measurements in the southeastern Beaufort Sea. Polar Biol 30(4):427–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Simonsen CS, Treble MA (2003) Tagging mortality of Greenland halibut Reinhardtius hippoglossoides (Walbaum). J Northwest Atl Fish Sci 31:373Google Scholar
  46. Søreide JE, Falk-Petersen S, Hegseth EN, Hop H, Carroll ML, Hobson KA, Blachowiak-Samolyk K (2008) Seasonal feeding strategies of Calanus in the high-Arctic Svalbard region. Deep-Sea Res (2 Top Stud Oceanogr) 55(20–21):2225–2244Google Scholar
  47. Søreide JE, Leu E, Berge J, Graeve M, Falk-Petersen S (2010) Timing of blooms, algal food quality and Calanus glacialis reproduction and growth in a changing Arctic. Global Change Biol 16(11):3154–3163Google Scholar
  48. Stevens C, Deibel D, Parrish C (2004a) Species-specific differences in lipid composition and omnivory indices in Arctic copepods collected in deep water during autumn (North Water Polynya). Mar Biol 144(5):905–915CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stevens CJ, Deibel D, Parrish CC (2004b) Copepod omnivory in the North Water Polynya (Baffin Bay) during autumn: spatial patterns in lipid composition. Deep-Sea Res (1 Oceanogr Res Pap) 51(11):1637–1658Google Scholar
  50. Treen M, Uauy RD, Jameson DM, Thomas VL, Hoffman DR (1992) Effect of docosahexaenoic acid on membrane fluidity and function in intact cultured Y-79 retinoblastoma cells. Arch Biochem Biophys 294(2):564–570. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(92)90726-d CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bailey C. McMeans
    • 1
  • Michael T. Arts
    • 2
  • Scott A. Rush
    • 1
  • Aaron T. Fisk
    • 1
  1. 1.GLIERUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  2. 2.National Water Research Institute, Environment CanadaBurlingtonCanada

Personalised recommendations