Phylogenetic Order Differentiates Fatty Acid Composition of 40 Northeast Pacific Macrophytes

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Phylogenetic Order Differentiates Fatty Acid Composition of 40 Northeast Pacific Macrophytes

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Title: Phylogenetic Order Differentiates Fatty Acid Composition of 40 Northeast Pacific Macrophytes
Author: Galloway, AWE; Britton-Simmons, KH; Brett, MT
Abstract: NE Pacific macrophyte communities are a diverse mix of species representing four divisions. Such variety can confound traditional stable isotope biomarker approaches to food web ecology. Fatty acids (FA) may offer a more taxon-specific approach to tracing specific carbon sources, but the distribution of FA among the diverse marine macrophyte groups is poorly characterized. We conducted a phylogenetically diverse survey of the FA content of 40 subtidal and intertidal macrophyte taxa within the Anthophyta, Chlorophyta, Ochrophyta, and Rhodophyta (21 orders and 36 families) found in the San Juan Archipelago (SJA), WA. We collected five replicate specimens from the median depth distribution for the taxa in the SJA during late May 2010 using scuba for subtidal specimens and extracted FA methyl esters from three replicate specimens. FA composition of macrophytes differs significantly among phylogenetic orders and families using both the full suite of all 44 FA identified and just seven 'essential' omega-3 and-6 FA (PERMANOVA, p less than 0.0001). This result is significant because essential FA are potentially more useful as biomarkers because consumers cannot synthesize these molecules de novo.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10210
Date: 2011

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