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Diet insights of deep-sea polychaetes derived from fatty acid analyses

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Wuerzberg, L., Peters, J., Schueller, M., & Brandt, A. (2011). Diet insights of deep-sea polychaetes derived from fatty acid analyses. Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 58(1-2), 153-162. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.014.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0017-D2BD-8
Abstract
The fatty acid (FA) composition of representatives belonging to 18 polychaete families from the Southern Ocean shelf and deep sea (600 to 5337 m) was analysed in order to identify trophic biomarkers and elucidate possible feeding preferences. Total FA content was relatively low with few exceptions and ranged from 1.0 to 11.6% of total body dry weight. The most prominent FA found were 20:5(n-3), 16:0, 22:6(n-3), 18:1(n-7), 20:4(n-6), 18:0, 20:1(n-11) and 18:1(n-9). For some polychaete families and species FA profiles indicated selective feeding on certain dietary components, like freshly deposited diatom remains (e.g., Spionidae, Fauveliopsidae and Flabelligeridae) or foraminiferans (e.g., Euphrosinidae, Nephtyidae and Syllidae). Feeding patterns were relatively consistent within families at the deep stations, while the FA composition differed between the deep and the shelf stations within the same family. Fatty alcohols, indicative of wax ester storage, were found in almost all families (in proportions of 0.0 to 29.3% of total FA and fatty alcohols). The development of this long-term storage mechanism of energy reserves possibly displays an evolutionary strategy. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.