Assessing the role of food quality in the production and hatching of Temora longicornis eggs

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We utilized the varying fatty acid composition of phytoplankton to create 19 different food treatments based on different ratios of 5 potentially important fatty acids and offered these to the copepod Temora longicornis. Egg production and hatching was monitored and related to ingested carbon, dietary fatty acids and the utilization of maternal fatty acid reserves. Egg production rates depended on ingested carbon and the fatty acid 20:5n-3 from the diet and from the female reserves. Hatching success showed a significant dependence on the ingested and maternal fatty acids 22:6n-3, 18:5n-3 and 18:3n-3. Production of nauplii as a combination of egg production and hatching was highly dependent on the fatty acid 22:6n-3 and carbon ingestion. The study confirms the importance of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for copepod reproduction and indicates that the female differentially utilizes its fatty acid reserves depending on dietary fatty acid availability during reproduction and that egg production and hatching are dependent on different dietary fatty acids.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Pages (from-to)139-150
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Temora longicornis
  • Fatty acid
  • Egg production
  • Food quality
  • Hatching


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