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Effect of a carnivorous diet on the lipids, fatty acids and condition of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba


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Hagen, W, Yoshida, T, Virtue, P, Kawaguchi, S, Swadling, KM, Nicol, S and Nichols, PD 2007 , 'Effect of a carnivorous diet on the lipids, fatty acids and condition of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba' , Antarctic Science, vol. 19, no. 2 , pp. 183-188 , doi: 10.1017/S0954102007000259.

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Krill are thought to be predominantly herbivorous, but a heterotrophic diet might be crucial for
their growth and survival. To compare the influence of herbivory and carnivory on krill we conducted a nine
month feeding trial. We examined lipid composition of the hepatopancreas, abdomen and remaining body
portions of krill fed diatoms at bloom condition levels, and diatoms with the addition of pellets or minced
clam meat to simulate a partly carnivorous diet. Mortality, dry mass and lipid content were similar among
treatments. We examined lipid class and fatty acid profiles, with emphasis placed on the ratio of storage
(triacylglycerol) to structural (polar lipid) lipid and key essential omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids:
20:5ω3 and 22:6ω3. The triacylglycerol : polar lipid ratio increased in krill fed on the mixed diet as did the
20:5ω3 : 22:6ω3 ratio. Overall these findings indicate that provision of clam in the diet improved krill
condition, and further suggest that carnivory may aid krill growth in the wild under certain environmental

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hagen, W and Yoshida, T and Virtue, P and Kawaguchi, S and Swadling, KM and Nicol, S and Nichols, PD
Keywords: copepods; polar lipid; polyunsaturated fatty acids; triacylglycerol; trophic interactions
Journal or Publication Title: Antarctic Science
ISSN: 0954-1020
DOI / ID Number: 10.1017/S0954102007000259
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