Quantitative estimation of dragonfly role in transfer of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems.
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ABSTRACT: Emerging aquatic insects, including mosquitoes, are known to transfer to terrestrial ecosystems specific essential biochemicals, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). We studied fatty acid (FA) composition and contents of dominant mosquito populations (Diptera: Culicidae), that is, Anopheles messeae, Ochlerotatus caspius, Oc. flavescens, Oc. euedes, Oc. subdiversus, Oc. cataphylla, and Aedes cinereus, inhabited a steppe wetland of a temperate climate zone to fill up the gap in their lipid knowledge. The polar lipid and triacylglycerol fractions of larvae and adults were compared. In most studied mosquito species, we first found and identified a number of short-chain PUFA, for example, prominent 14:2n-6 and 14:3n-3, which were not earlier documented in living organisms. These PUFA, although occurred in low levels in adult mosquitoes, can be potentially used as markers of mosquito biomass in terrestrial food webs. We hypothesize that these acids might be synthesized (or retroconverted) by the mosquitoes. Using FA trophic markers accumulated in triacylglycerols, trophic relations of the mosquitoes were accessed. The larval diet comprised green algae, cryptophytes, and dinoflagellates and provided the mosquitoes with essential n-3 PUFA, linolenic, and eicosapentaenoic acids. As a result, both larvae and adults of the studied mosquitoes had comparatively high content of the essential PUFA. Comparison of FA proportions in polar lipids versus storage lipids shown that during mosquito metamorphosis transfer of essential eicosapentaenoic and arachidonic acids from the reserve in storage lipids of larvae to functional polar lipids in adults occurred.Insect Science 10/2012; 20(5). DOI:10.1111/j.1744-7917.2012.01582.x · 1.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Saline rivers are supposed to be ‘hot spots’ of high biological productivity in arid landscapes. To test this, we quantified the production of chironomid larvae, because river production is known to be transferred to arid landscapes primarily by birds fed on these larvae. In addition, we studied the potential biochemical quality of the larvae for birds based on the essential highly unsaturated fatty acid (HUFA) contents in their biomass. We studied species composition and measured production of chironomid larvae in two saline rivers (Volgograd region, Russia). We also evaluated the fatty acid composition and contents of the dominant taxa and estimated the flux of HUFA from the studied saline rivers to land via chironomid potential emergence. Average monthly production of chironomids measured for only 1 month, August, was quite comparable to annual production in some freshwater rivers. All the dominant chironomid larvae had comparatively high essential eicosapentaenoic acid contents, especially Cricotopus salinophilus, which showed the highest value, reported for Chironomidae. The monthly flux of HUFA from the studied rivers to land due to the chironomid potential emergence was roughly comparable to the global average estimation of annual water–land HUFA export via emerging insects.Hydrobiologia 01/2014; 722(1). DOI:10.1007/s10750-013-1684-5 · 2.21 Impact Factor