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Assessing the Reliability of Quantitative Fatty Acid Signature Analysis and Compound-Specific Isotope Analysis-Based Mixing Models for Trophic Studies

  • prokopkin;, igor
Publication Date
Oct 27, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/biom11111590
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The study of the trophic relationships of aquatic animals requires correct estimates of their diets. We compared the quantitative fatty acid signature analysis (QFASA) and the isotope-mixing model IsoError, based on the compound-specific isotope analysis of fatty acids (CSIA-FA), which are potentially effective models for quantitative diet estimations. In a 21-day experiment, Daphnia was fed a mixture of two food items, Chlorella and Cryptomonas, which were supplied in nearly equal proportions. The percentages and isotope values of the FAs of the algal species and Daphnia were measured. The IsoError based on CSIA-FA gave an estimation of algae consumption using only one FA, 18:3n-3. According to this model, the proportion of consumption of Chlorella decreased while the proportion of consumption of Cryptomonas increased during the experiment. The QFASA model was used for two FA subsets—the extended-dietary subset, which included sixteen FAs, and the dietary one, which included nine FAs. According to both subsets, the portion of consumed Chlorella decreased from Day 5 to 10 and then increased at Day 21. The comparison of the two model approaches showed that the QFASA model is a more reliable method to determine the contribution of different food sources to the diet of zooplankton than the CSIA-based mixing model.

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