Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 1085–1096 | Cite as

Compound-specific isotopes of fatty acids as indicators of trophic interactions in the East China Sea ecosystem

  • Ying Wu (吴莹)Email author
  • Na Wang (王娜)
  • Jing Zhang (张经)
  • Ruijing Wan (万瑞景)
  • Fangqun Dai (戴芳群)
  • Xianshi Jin (金显仕)


The composition and compound-specific isotopes of fatty acids were studied within food webs in the East China Sea. Lipid-normalized stable carbon isotopes of total organic carbon had a good correlation with trophic level. Variations in fatty acid compositions among diff erent species were observed but were unclear. Diff erent dietary structures could be traced from molecular isotopes of selected fatty acids in the Shiba shrimp (Matapenaeus joyneri), the coastal mud shrimp (Solenocera crassicornis) and the northern Maoxia shrimp (Acetes chinensis). Both M. joyneri and S. crassicornis are mainly benthos feeders, while A. chinensis is a pelagic species, although they have a similar fatty acid composition. There was a good correlation for isotopes of arachidonic acid (C20:4n6; ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6n3; DHA) among pelagic species from higher trophic levels. The isotopic compositions of DHA in benthic species were more negative than those of pelagic species at the same trophic level. The fact that the diet of benthic species contains more degraded items, the carbon isotopes of which are derived from a large biochemical fraction, may be the reason for this variation. A comparative study of benthic and pelagic species demonstrated the diff erent carbon sources in potential food items and the presence of a more complex system at the water-sediment interface.


fatty acid compound-specific isotope ratio stable isotope ratio East China Sea 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Wu (吴莹)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Na Wang (王娜)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jing Zhang (张经)
    • 1
  • Ruijing Wan (万瑞景)
    • 3
  • Fangqun Dai (戴芳群)
    • 3
  • Xianshi Jin (金显仕)
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal ResearchEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Tianjin Airport Economic AreaTianjinChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Marine Fisheries Resource, Ministry of Agriculture, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesQingdaoChina

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