A highly unsaturated fatty acid predicts carbon transfer between primary producers and consumers

  title={A highly unsaturated fatty acid predicts carbon transfer between primary producers and consumers},
  author={D{\"o}rthe C. M{\"u}ller-Navarra and Michael T. Brett and Anne M. Liston and Charles Remington Goldman},
The factors that regulate energy transfer between primary producers and consumers in aquatic ecosystems have been investigated for more than 50 years (refs 1,2,3). Among all levels of the food web (plants, herbivores, carnivores), the plant–animal interface is the most variable and least predictable link. In hypereutrophic lakes, for example, biomass and energy transfer is often inhibited at the phytoplankton–zooplankton link, resulting in an accumulation of phytoplankton biomass instead of… 

Efficiency of transfer of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids versus organic carbon from producers to consumers in a eutrophic reservoir

The trophic pyramid concept, which implicitly implies that all the energy-yielding compounds of carbon are transferred from one Trophic level to the next with the same efficiency of about on average 10%, should be specified for different carbon compounds.

Alteration of essential fatty acids in secondary consumers across a gradient of cyanobacteria

It is concluded that both fish species experienced altered EFA coinciding with cyanobacteria blooms, consistent with disruption of LC-EFA transfer across multiple trophic levels.

Seasonal transfer of the pool of the essential eicosapentaenoic acid along the pelagic trophic chain of a eutrophic reservoir

This statement is based on the analysis of summer phytoplankton, which is known to be mainly represented by diatom, cryptophyte, and other EPArich microalgae in oligotrophic water bodies, whereas cyanobacteria incapable of synthesizing this fatty acid dominate eutrophic waters.

Unsaturated fatty acid content in seston and tropho-dynamic coupling in lakes

In seston during summer, specific ω3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-PUFAs), which are important for zooplankton, are significantly correlated to the trophic status of the lake, and secondary production for this key consumer is predicted.

Modelling the role of highly unsaturated fatty acids in planktonic food web processes: a mechanistic approach

A novel zooplankton growth sub model is introduced that tracks the interplay between nitrogen, phosphorus, and HUFAs in plankton population models and takes a first-principles approach to investigate the chemical nature of HUFA, and the role they play in zoopLankton ecology.

Absence of sterols constrains carbon transfer between cyanobacteria and a freshwater herbivore (Daphnia galeata)

It is shown that the low C transfer efficiency of coccal and filamentous cyanobacteria to the keystone herbivore Daphnia is caused by the low sterol content in cyanob bacteria, which constrains cholesterol synthesis and thereby growth and reproduction of the herbivor.

Food web dynamics in the benthic habitat of a groundwater-fed, freshwater pond

Ponds, defined as inland waterbodies with small area < 50,000 m, are very numerous, and have important values for human being. However, many of the ponds around the world were threatened by a series

Essential fatty acids and phosphorus in seston from lakes with contrasting terrestrial dissolved organic carbon content

1. It is often assumed that lakes highly influenced by terrestrial organic matter (TOM) have low zooplankton food quality because of elemental and/or biochemical deficiencies of the major particulate

Aquatic Food Web Structure and the Flow of Carbon

Abstract Carbon cycling is a cornerstone concept of ecosystem ecology, which has implications for climate change, ecosystem health, and human activities. This review investigates pathways of carbon

Essential Fatty Acids in Aquatic Food Webs

Aquatic ecosystems occupy the largest part of the biosphere, and lipids in those systems provide the densest form of energy. Total lipid energy can be used to predict features of animal population



The role of highly unsaturated fatty acids in aquatic foodweb processes

HUFA may be key nutritional constituents of zooplankton diets, and may determine energetic efficiency across the plant–animal interface, secondary production and the strength of trophic coupling in aquatic pelagic foodwebs.


The increased lipid content in stressed algae was mostly due to increased saturated fatty acids and ω6 acids, whereas the valuable ω3 acids were unchanged or even decreased.

Consumer Versus Resource Control in Freshwater Pelagic Food Webs

A meta-analysis of 11 fish (consumer)-by-nutrient (resource) factorial plankton community experiments found that zooplankton biomass was under strong consumer control but was weakly stimulated by nutrient additions; phytoplanktons were under strong resource control with moderate control by fish.

The role of food quality for zooplankton: remarks on the state‐of‐the‐art, perspectives and priorities

Empirical data and modelling studies suggest that zooplankton may maintain nutrient homeostasis by incorporating a greater proportion of the Limiting nutrients ingested and releasing more of nutrients in excess supply and the accumulating evidence for P limitation is stronger than that for fatty acid limitation.

Seasonal patterns of food limitation in Daphnia galeata: separating food quantity and food quality effects

The nutritional quality of natural lake seston relative to a standard alga was determined over one growing season and growth rates of seston fed animals revealed that they were food limited during long periods of the year.

Daphnia growth on varying quality of Scenedesmus: Mineral limitation of zooplankton

The growth in body mass of individuals of the herbivore Daphnia obtusa was measured for a variety of foods, which consisted of the chlorophyte Scenedesmus acutus cultured under a suite of N- and P-limited growth rates.


Over the 7 yr data set, a strong negative correlation between numbers of piscivores and planktivores was found, a weaker correlation betweenNumbers of plankTivore numbers and zooplankton biomass, and no between—year correlation between zoopLankon biomass and chlorophyll a concentration were found.

Biomanipulation Tool for Water Management

Biomanipulation (as defined by Shapiro) and top-down or consumer controlled forces refer to the control of natural aquatic organisms to improve water quality instead of through nutrient management. A

Possibility of N or P limitation for planktonic cladocerans: An experimental test

Although the threshold elemental ratios calculated here are theoretically minimum estimates, they were higher than the lower end of the sestonic elemental ratios in some lakes, suggesting that it is not unusual for these cladocerans to be N or P limited at certain periods of the year.

A meta-analysis of the freshwater trophic cascade.

  • M. BrettC. Goldman
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1996
A meta-analysis of 54 separate enclosure and pond experiments that measured the response of the zooplankton and phytoplanktivorous fish treatments provided unequivocal support for the trophic cascade hypothesis in freshwater food webs.