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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Predatory Zooplankton of Lake Ontario: Seasonal fatty acid Analysis of Leptodora kindtii, Cercopagis pengoi, and Bythotrephes cederstroemi

Three main predatory zooplanktivores were examined in this study; the fish-hook waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi), the spiny water flea (Bythotrephes cederstroemi) and Leptodora kindtii. Cercopagis and Bythotrephes (Crustacea, cladocera) are exotic invasive species from the Ponto-Caspian region and Leptodora is indigenous to Lake Ontario. Cercopagis and Bythotrephes were introduced to the Great Lakes through ballast water exchange and their impact on the native ecosystem, especially food webs, is not clearly understood yet. This study examined total lipid content and fatty acid profiles of these three predators seasonally in Lake Ontario. Fatty acids have been used to identify biomarkers in phytoplankton and zooplankton that enable researchers to trace carbon sources through the trophic levels. By examining fatty acid profiles for these three predatory zooplanktivores it may be possible to elucidate any predator-prey relationships between the tree species and identify their place in the food web.

Presenter: Christi Ann Severson (Graduate Student)
Topic: Environmental Science
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 11:30 am (Session II)

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