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Seasonal variation in wax ester concentration and gut content in a Baltic Sea copepod

, : Seasonal variation in wax ester concentration and gut content in a Baltic Sea copepod. Journal of Plankton Research 34(4): 286-297

Limnocalanus macrurus from Bothnian Bay in the northern part of the Baltic Sea was studied during the ice-free period (April–December) in order to understand its life history and feeding biology. Our data on the population dynamics indicated that reproduction occurred during the ice-covered period, during which lipid storage was reduced to a minimum. From spring to late summer, the lipid reserve increased by a factor of 3, while the gonads of adult females were immature during this period, continuing to December as indicated by the small size of the eggs. Average stomach fullness was always ca. 5% indicating continuous feeding activity. A newly developed denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography method was used to analyse the gut contents over the study period. More than 3 taxa (at different taxonomic levels) could be identified. However, phytoplankton was only represented by one taxon (Diatomophycea), and was restricted to July. Thus, adult L. macrurus seems to have a strongly carnivorous feeding preference in the northern Baltic Sea.


DOI: 10.1093/plankt/fbs005

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