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Fatty acids as biomarkers to indicate main carbon sources of four major invertebrate families in a large River (the Allier, France)

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We used fatty acids (FA) as biomarkers to determine the principal sources of the organic matter assimilated by four families of aquatic insects (Baetidae, Chironomidae, Hydropsychidae and Simuliidae) prevailing in the macroinvertebrates assemblages observed in the riffle areas of a large temperate river (Allier, France). FA profiles extracted from different sources of organic matter (epilithic biofilm, benthic organic matter, fine suspended organic matter) and from each macroinvertebrate family were analyzed and compared. This has highlighted the importance of carbon from autochthonous primary production in the larvae diet. Despite different feeding modes and whatever the localization of the sites along the river continuum, the macroinvertebrates' lipids contained specific diatom markers. Moreover, the assimilation of autochthonous carbon seemed to increase in downstream riffles where macroinvertebrates tend to feed opportunistically on sestonic and/or benthic microalgae.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Fundamental and Applied Limnology is an international journal for freshwater research in the widest sense, including problems of marine biology and brackish water research. Papers dealing with ecological topics are especially welcome in association with experimental or physiological studies. All papers published in this journal are subject to peer review.

    Archiv für Hydrobiologie, now Fundamental and Applied Limnology has been published continuously since 1906.

    Volumes prior to vol. 168 were published under the previous title Archiv für Hydrobiologie.
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