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An experimental study of the effect of diet on the fatty acid profiles of the European Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis)
Fluckiger, M.; Jackson, G.D.; Nichols, P.; Virtue, P.; Daw, A.; Wotherspoon, S. (2008). An experimental study of the effect of diet on the fatty acid profiles of the European Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 154(2): 363-372. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-008-0932-0
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Fluckiger, M.
  • Jackson, G.D.
  • Nichols, P.
  • Virtue, P.
  • Daw, A.
  • Wotherspoon, S.

Abstract
    Fatty acid analysis is an alternative dietary investigation tool that complements the more traditional techniques of stomach content and faecal analysis that are often subject to a wide range of biases. In applying fatty acid analysis to ecosystem studies, it is important to have an understanding of the effect diet has on the fatty acid profile of the predator. A feeding experiment, using crustacean and fish as prey for the European cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, was conducted to evaluate the effect of prey fatty acids on the fatty acid profile of this marine predator. Cuttlefish were fed on a fish diet for the first 29 days, and then changed to a crustacean diet for a further 28 days. Another group of cuttlefish was fed on a crustacean diet for the first 29 days, and then changed to a fish diet for a further 28 days. An analysis of the cuttlefish digestive gland showed that the fatty acid profile reflected that of the prey, with cuttlefish on a crustacean diet being clearly distinguishable from the cuttlefish on a fish diet. Cuttlefish fed on a fish diet for 29 days prior to the switch in diet were comparatively higher in 16:0, AA, 20:1?9, DPA6, DHA, 22:4?6 and DPA3 than those fed on crustaceans. Cuttlefish fed on a crustacean diet for 29 days prior to the switch in diet were comparatively higher in 17:1?8, 18:1?9, 18:2?6, 18:1?7, EPA and 20:2?6 than those fed on fish. Following a change in diet, the fatty acid profile of the cuttlefish digestive gland reflected that of the new diet within 14 days. The results confirm that the fatty acid profile of the cuttlefish digestive gland clearly reflects the profile of its recent diet. It also shows that the digestive gland may not be an organ that accumulates dietary lipids for long-term storage, but rather is an organ where lipids are rapidly being turned over and potentially excreted.

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