Essential fatty acids in aquatic food webs

  • Christopher C. Parrish


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 dynamics such as egg production by fish stocks. Difficulties in determining the relationship between spawner biomass and the number of offspring produced (recruitment) have led researchers to look at lipids (Marshall et al. 1999). A positive association between recruitment and liver weights in cod prompted an investigation of total lipid energy as a proxy for total egg production by fish stocks. Marshall et al. (1999) found a highly significant linear relationship between total egg production and total lipid energy, and they suggested this approach should be used at other trophic levels too. Total lipid content of fish has also been connected to climate-induced community changes (Litzow et al. 2006). It is hypothesized that this relates to the dietary availability of just two fatty acids which were positively correlated with total lipid content.


Essential Fatty Acid Dietary Fatty Acid Nervonic Acid Phospholipid Molecular Species Ethanolamine Glycerophospholipids 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ocean Sciences CentreMemorial University of NewfoundlandCanada

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