Amphibia as a Vector of Transfer of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Omega-3 Fatty Acids from Aquatic to Terrestrial Ecosystems
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The flow of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) of the omega-3 family, namely, eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3, EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3, DHA), exported by amphibian metamorphs from water to terrestrial ecosystems in the Medveditsa River floodplain, was quantified for the first time. The total biomass export by three amphibian species (Pelobates fuscus, Bombina bombina, and Pelophylax ridibundus) per unit area of the lake surface was 0.594 g/m2 per year (as a mean for 2 years). The biomass flow per unit area of land was 0.726 g/ha per year (0.302 g/ha per year for organic carbon) in 2015–2016. The average annual total removal of EPA + DHA by amphibians from the floodplain lake was 1.47 mg/m2 of water surface area. Due to the high content of EPA and DHA in biomass, amphibians are potentially a valuable food for terrestrial predators having no access to other sources of essential PUFAs.
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