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Lipid content and fatty acid composition of algal communities in sea-ice and water from the Weddell Sea (Antarctica)

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Fahl, K. and Kattner, G. (1993): Lipid content and fatty acid composition of algal communities in sea-ice and water from the Weddell Sea (Antarctica) , Polar Biology, 13 , pp. 405-409 .
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Abstract:

The lipid and fatty acid compositions of microalgae were investigated in sea-ice and water samples from six different habitats of the Weddell Sea (Antarctica). All sea-ice samples and ice-associated water contained high algal biomass dominated by centric and and pennate diatoms. Cells partially filled with oil droplets and resting spores were found. In the cells from the ice platelet layer triacylglycerols formed the largest component of the lipids. The fatty acid composition of sea-ice microalgae was dominated by the 16:1(n-7), 16:0, 18:1(n-9) and 20:5(n-3) fatty acids. Except 18:1, they are typical for diatom fatty acids. These fatty acids were most abundant in pieces of first year ice with a brown colouration ("brown-ice") and in the water column directly below sea-ice (sub-ice water). The small amounts of non-diatom fatty acids, as 22:6(n-3) and 18:4(n-3), clearly showed that the sea-ice communities were not purely composed of diatoms. The most striking difference, in comparison to the general fatty acid composition of diatoms, was the high proportion of the 18:1 fatty acid in all samples, which might be caused by detrital material or lipid accumulation within cells and resting spores. In general, no clear adaptation of the fatty acid composition to the Antarctic and sea-ice environment was found. The fatty acid composition of the particulate matter from the water column was totally different from all other samples dominated by the saturated fatty acids 16:0 and 18:0.

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