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Selective feeding by benthic foraminifera on phytodetritus on the western Antarctic Peninsula shelf: evidence from fatty acid biomarker analysis

Suhr, Stephanie B.; Pond, David W.; Gooday, Andrew J.; Smith, Craig R.. 2003 Selective feeding by benthic foraminifera on phytodetritus on the western Antarctic Peninsula shelf: evidence from fatty acid biomarker analysis. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 262. 153-162. 10.3354/meps262153

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Abstract/Summary

This study presents the first direct evidence, based on biochemical analysis of fresh material, that certain benthic foraminifera feed selectively on specific components of seasonally deposited phytodetritus in their natural environment. Three abundant species of benthic foraminifera, the calcareous species Globocassidulina subglobosa and Quinqueloculina seminula and the agglutinated species Thurammina albicans, collected after the deposition of phytoplankton bloom material at a shelf site (560 m water depth) west of the Antarctic Peninsula in March 2001, showed significant differences in their fatty acid profiles compared to the surrounding phytodetritus. Furthermore, the 2 calcareous species contained significantly higher amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) than were found in their presumptive phytodetrital food source, indicating that the foraminifera discriminate between, and selectively feed on, the different components of the deposited material. Possible implications for the benthic food web are discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3354/meps262153
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Science in the Global Context (2000-2005) > Dynamics and Management of Ocean Ecosystems
NOC Programmes
ISSN: 0171-8630
Additional Keywords: Foraminifera, Selective feeding, Polyunsaturated fatty acids, Benthic food web, Antarctic Peninsula shelf
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 13 Feb 2012 14:59
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/12985

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