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Fatty acid signature analysis documents the diet of five myctophid fish from the Southern Ocean
Connan, M.; Mayzaud, P.; Duhamel, G.; Bonnevie, B.T.; Cherel, Y. (2010). Fatty acid signature analysis documents the diet of five myctophid fish from the Southern Ocean. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(10): 2303-2316.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Connan, M.
  • Mayzaud, P.
  • Duhamel, G.
  • Bonnevie, B.T.
  • Cherel, Y.

    Fatty acid (FA) and fatty alcohol (FAlc) compositions of both total lipid and neutral lipid fractions were studied for five myctophid species sampled in Kerguelen waters. Both qualitative and quantitative FA signature analyses were then performed to investigate their diet over longer time scales than the conventional stomach content analysis. Regarding their lipid class, FA and FAlc compositions, the five species could be discriminated into two groups: wax-ester-rich species (Electrona antarctica, Krefftichthys anderssoni) characterised by large amounts of monounsaturated FAs (>73% of total FAs) and triacylglycerol-rich species (Electrona carlsbergi, Gymnoscopelus nicholsi, Protomyctophum bolini) with major amounts of saturated and monounsaturated FAs (>29 and >46% of total FAs, respectively). Qualitative and quantitative FA analyses showed that K. anderssoni mainly preyed upon copepods, E. antarctica upon copepods and more euphausiids and P. bolini and E. carlsbergi mainly upon euphausiids with some copepods, while G. nicholsi had a more diverse diet. This study shows the usefulness of quantitative statistical analysis to determine the diet of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic predators and stresses the need of increasing the lipid and FA analyses of more zooplanktonic and micro-nektonic marine species.

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