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Salps in the Lazarev Sea, Southern Ocean: II. Biochemical composition and potential prey value
Dubischar, C.D.; Pakhomov, E.A.; von Harbou, L.; Hunt, B.P.V.; Bathmann, U.V. (2012). Salps in the Lazarev Sea, Southern Ocean: II. Biochemical composition and potential prey value. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(1): 15-24.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Dubischar, C.D.
  • Pakhomov, E.A.
  • von Harbou, L.
  • Hunt, B.P.V.
  • Bathmann, U.V.

    Two species of salps, Salpa thompsoni and Ihlea racovitzai, were sampled during three cruises to the Lazarev Sea, Southern Ocean, in summer (December–January) 2005/2006, Autumn (April–May) 2004 and Winter (July–August) 2006. Dry weight, carbon, nitrogen, protein, lipid and carbohydrate contents were measured to characterize the potential value of salps as a food source for predators in the Antarctic ecosystem. Biochemical composition measurements showed that despite having a high percentage of water (~94% of wet weight), both species had relatively high carbon and protein contents in their remaining dry weight (DW). In particular I. racovitzai showed high carbon (up to 22% of DW) and protein (up to 32% of DW) values during all seasons sampled, compared to lower values for S. thompsoni (carbon content only about 15% of the DW, protein content about 10% of the DW). At the same time, carbohydrates (CH) and lipids (Lip) only accounted for a small portion of salp DW in both species (1.4% CH and 3.6% Lip for I. racovitzai; 2.1% CH and 2.9% Lip for S. thompsoni). There was little variability in the biochemical composition of either salp species between the seasons sampled. Both biochemical composition and life cycle characteristics suggest that Antarctic salps, especially I. racovitzai, may be important prey items for both cold and warm-blooded predators in an environment where food is often very scarce.

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