Hydrogen isotopes (delta H-2) of polyunsaturated fatty acids track bioconversion by zooplankton

Type Article
Date 2022-03
Language English
Author(s) Pilecky MatthiasORCID1, 2, Kaemmer Samuel K.1, Mathieu-Resuge MargauxORCID1, Wassenaar Leonard, I3, Taipale Sami J.4, Martin-Creuzburg DominikORCID5, Kainz Martin J.1, 2
Affiliation(s) 1 : WasserCluster Lunz—Biologische Station, Lunz am See, Austria
2 : Department for Biomedical Research, Danube University Krems, Krems, Austria
3 : Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
4 : Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Survontie, Finland
5 : Limnological Institute, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
Source Functional Ecology (0269-8463) (Wiley), 2022-03 , Vol. 36 , N. 3 , P. 538-549
DOI 10.1111/1365-2435.13981
WOS© Times Cited 19
Keyword(s) bioconversion, compound-specific stable isotopes, deuterium, ecophysiology, eutrophication, polyunsaturated fatty acids, trophic ecology, zooplankton

1. Organisms at the base of aquatic food webs synthesize essential nutrients, such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), which are transferred to consumers at higher trophic levels. Many consumers, requiring n-3 long-chain (LC) PUFA, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have limited ability to biosynthesize them from the essential dietary precursor alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and thus rely on dietary provision of LC-PUFA. 2. We investigated LC-PUFA metabolism in freshwater zooplankton using stable hydrogen isotopes (delta H-2) of fatty acids as tracers. We conducted feeding experiments with the freshwater keystone grazer Daphnia to quantify changes in the delta H-2 value of body FA in response to the FA composition of their food and the delta H-2 value of the ambient water. 3. The isotopic composition of LC-PUFA changed in Daphnia, depending on the integration of H-2 from ambient water during de novo synthesis or bioconversion from dietary precursors, allowing us to distinguish dietary from bioconverted EPA in body tissue. We tested the applicability of these laboratory findings in a field setting by analysing delta H-2 values of PUFA in primary producers and consumers in eutrophic ponds to track EPA sources of zooplankton. 4. Multilinear regression models that included conversion of ALA to EPA correlated better with zooplankton delta H-2 EpA than seston delta H-2(EPA) at low dietary EPA supply. 5. This study provides evidence that zooplankton can compensate for low dietary EPA supply by activating LC-PUFA biosynthesis and shows that herbivorous zooplankton play a crucial role in upgrading FA for higher trophic levels during low dietary EPA supply.

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Pilecky Matthias, Kaemmer Samuel K., Mathieu-Resuge Margaux, Wassenaar Leonard, I, Taipale Sami J., Martin-Creuzburg Dominik, Kainz Martin J. (2022). Hydrogen isotopes (delta H-2) of polyunsaturated fatty acids track bioconversion by zooplankton. Functional Ecology, 36(3), 538-549. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.13981 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00832/94430/