High inter-species variability in elemental composition of the twilight zone fauna varies implications for predators and exploitation by humans

Type Article
Date 2022-03
Language English
Author(s) Chouvelon Tiphaine1, 2, Munschy Catherine3, Bruzac Sandrine2, Caurant Florence1, 4, Churlaud Carine5, Crochet Sylvette2, Guillou Gerald5, Mauffret AourellORCID6, Méndez-Fernandez Paula1, Niol Jasmin1, Sireau Teddy2, Steinberg Claire2, Wessel NathalieORCID7, Spitz Jérôme1, 4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Observatoire Pelagis, UMS 3462 La Rochelle Université/CNRS, 5 Allées de L’Océan, 17000, La Rochelle, France
2 : Ifremer, Unité Biogéochimie et Écotoxicologie, Laboratoire de Biogéochimie des Contaminants Métalliques (BE/LBCM), Rue de L’Ile D’Yeu, BP 21105, 44311, Nantes Cedex 03, France
3 : Ifremer, Unité Biogéochimie et Écotoxicologie, Laboratoire de Biogéochimie des Contaminants Organiques (BE/LBCO), Rue de L’Ile D’Yeu, BP 21105, 44311, Nantes Cedex 03, France
4 : Centre D’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé (CEBC), UMR 7372 La Rochelle Université/CNRS, 405 Route de Prissé La Charrière, 79360, Villiers-en-Bois, France
5 : Littoral Environnement et Sociétés (LIENSs), UMR 7266 La Rochelle Université/CNRS, 2 Rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000, La Rochelle, France
6 : Ifremer, Unité Biogéochimie et Écotoxicologie (BE), Rue de L’Ile D’Yeu, BP 21105, 44311, Nantes Cedex 03, France
7 : Ifremer, Service Valorisation de L'Information pour La Gestion Intégrée et La Surveillance (VIGIES), Rue de L’Ile D’Yeu, BP 21105, 44311, Nantes Cedex 03, France
Source Environmental Research (0013-9351) (Elsevier BV), 2022-03 , Vol. 204 , N. Part. D , P. 112379 (15p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112379
Keyword(s) Mesopelagic, Energy density, Inorganic elements, Trace metals, Matter transfers, Environmental and health thresholds
Abstract

While the importance of oceanic micronektonic species in biogeochemical cycles and in the transfer of matter in food webs is globally recognized, specific knowledge on elemental concentrations and their variability within this community is still poorly documented. Here, we report for the first time in the Bay of Biscay, North-East Atlantic, the body composition in various biological parameters and chemical elements of a meso-to bathypelagic micronektonic community. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions (δ13C, δ15N), C:N ratios, energy density, as well as the concentrations in 6 macro-minerals and 13 trace elements including essential (micro-nutrients) and non-essential elements (undesirables, with no know biological function) were measured in whole organisms of 4 crustacean and 11 fish species caught simultaneously around 800 m depth. The results showed a low variability of δ13C values, confirming that all studied species share the same habitat. On the contrary, large differences were observed among species for several elements. Trace elements showed the greatest variability (i.e. larger range of values), especially silver (Ag), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt and vanadium. Significant differences were also revealed among taxa for Ag, As, Cd, copper and strontium concentrations (with crustaceans > fish), as well as for δ15N values and phosphorus concentrations (with fish > crustaceans). Although concentrations varied greatly among species, they could be grouped according to their energy density and composition in 19 chemical elements, through hierarchical clustering analysis. Six functional groups of species have been thus identified, reflecting contrasted nutritional benefit and/or exposure to undesirables for predators feeding on this deep pelagic community. Finally, the concentrations measured for the potentially toxic trace elements (undesirables) exceeded the existing European thresholds for Cd and to a lesser extent mercury (Hg), which point out potential risks in the perspective of a future exploitation of these deep living resources by humans.

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Chouvelon Tiphaine, Munschy Catherine, Bruzac Sandrine, Caurant Florence, Churlaud Carine, Crochet Sylvette, Guillou Gerald, Mauffret Aourell, Méndez-Fernandez Paula, Niol Jasmin, Sireau Teddy, Steinberg Claire, Wessel Nathalie, Spitz Jérôme (2022). High inter-species variability in elemental composition of the twilight zone fauna varies implications for predators and exploitation by humans. Environmental Research, 204(Part. D), 112379 (15p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.112379 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00735/84660/