Marine Biology

, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 473–480 | Cite as

Spatial variability in lipid composition of calanoid copepods from Fram Strait, the Arctic

  • G. Kattner
  • H. J. Hirche
  • M. Krause


The calanoid copepods Calanus hyperboreus and C. finmarchicus were investigated in view of their lipid and wax ester content and their fatty acid and alcohol composition. Analyses were performed in females and copepodid stages V and IV from the Fram Strait region between Greenland and Spitsbergen in 1984. This region offers different food conditions like diatom blooms in the North East Water Polynya, food shortage in areas with very close ice cover, high phytoplankton biomass in the marginal ice zone and lower biomass in the open Atlantic water. Lipids contained generally more than 70% wax esters. Highest levels were found in C. hyperboreus with more than 90%. This percentage was not very variable, in spite of large differences in dry weight and lipid content. Copepods with particularly high weight and lipid content were found in the North East Water Polynya. The lightest individuals were found under the pack ice. Lipid proportions per unit dry weight were higher in C. hyperboreus than in C. finmarchicus, whose lowest values were found in the open Atlantic water. Spatial variability in fatty acid composition was much higher than in alcohol composition. The principle alcohols, 20:1 and 22:1, generally accounting for more than 80% of total alcohols. In the North East Water Polynya, the predominant monounsaturated fatty acid was 16:1, while under the ice 20:1 and 22:1 dominated. In the marginal ice zone and in the open water, the 18:4 acid reached percentages up to 30% of total fatty acids. These changes were related to the different food conditions. C. hyperboreus appears to be best adapted to the cold water and unfavourable conditions of polar regions because of its high lipid and wax ester store with long-chain wax esters of high calorific value.


Phytoplankton Calanoid Copepod Diatom Bloom High Phytoplankton Biomass Copepodid Stage 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Kattner
    • 1
  • H. J. Hirche
    • 1
  • M. Krause
    • 2
  1. 1.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und MeeresforschungBremerhavenFRG
  2. 2.Institut für Allgemeine Botanik der Universität HamburgHamburg 52FRG

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