Calanus spp.-Vectors for the biotoxin, domoic acid, in the Arctic marine ecosystem?

A. Tammilehto, Torkel Gissel Nielsen, B. Krock, E.F. Møller, N. Lundholm

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Three Calanus species, Calanus glacialis, Calanus finmarchicus and Calanus hyperboreus, which are the most important zooplankton herbivores in Western Greenland, were fed with unialgal cultures of toxic Pseudo-nitzschia seriata and non-toxic Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima. All three copepod species grazed on toxic P. seriata and also accumulated domoic acid during the grazing. There were no differences in ingestion rates between toxic and non-toxic Pseudo-nitzschia species in any of the copepods. C. finmarchicus and C. hyperboreus grazed on toxic P. seriata during the first 6 h of the experiment but seemed to stop grazing during the last 6 h of the experiment suggesting that the copepods may have suffered some kind of physiological incapacitation due to ingestion of domoic acid. C. glacialis grazed on toxic P. seriata continuously during the whole experiment, probably due to the lower domoic acid cell quota of P. seriata during the experiment on C. glacialis than on the other two copepod species. The depuration experiment on C. glacialis indicated that the copepods still retained domoic acid after 10 h of depuration in filtered sea water. The results show that the three Calanus species are potential vectors for domoic acid to higher trophic levels in the Arctic
Original languageEnglish
JournalHarmful Algae
Pages (from-to)165-174
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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