Qualitative assessment of the diet of European eel larvae in the Sargasso Sea resolved by DNA barcoding

L. Riemann, H. Alfredsson, Michael Møller Hansen, Thomas Damm Als, Torkel Gissel Nielsen, Peter Munk, Kim Aarestrup, G.E. Maas, Henrik Sparholt, Michael Ingemann Pedersen, M. Bachler, M. Castonguay

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

European eels (Anguilla anguilla) undertake spawning migrations of more than 5000 km from continental Europe and North Africa to frontal zones in the Sargasso Sea. Subsequently, the larval offspring are advected by large-scale eastward ocean currents towards continental waters. However, the Sargasso Sea is oligotrophic, with generally low plankton biomass, and the feeding biology of eel larvae has so far remained a mystery, hampering understanding of this peculiar life history. DNA barcoding of gut contents of 61 genetically identified A. anguilla larvae caught in the Sargasso Sea showed that even the smallest larvae feed on a striking variety of plankton organisms, and that gelatinous zooplankton is of fundamental dietary importance. Hence, the specific plankton composition seems essential for eel larval feeding and growth, suggesting a linkage between eel survival and regional plankton productivity. These novel insights into the prey of Atlantic eels may furthermore facilitate eel larval rearing in aquaculture, which ultimately may replace the unsustainable use of wild-caught glass eels.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiology Letters
Volume6
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)819-822
ISSN1744-9561
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this

Riemann, L. ; Alfredsson, H. ; Hansen, Michael Møller ; Als, Thomas Damm ; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel ; Munk, Peter ; Aarestrup, Kim ; Maas, G.E. ; Sparholt, Henrik ; Pedersen, Michael Ingemann ; Bachler, M. ; Castonguay, M. / Qualitative assessment of the diet of European eel larvae in the Sargasso Sea resolved by DNA barcoding. In: Biology Letters. 2010 ; Vol. 6, No. 6. pp. 819-822.
@article{7d5aaaffa63c4d22a3f9b205095ed3e4,
title = "Qualitative assessment of the diet of European eel larvae in the Sargasso Sea resolved by DNA barcoding",
abstract = "European eels (Anguilla anguilla) undertake spawning migrations of more than 5000 km from continental Europe and North Africa to frontal zones in the Sargasso Sea. Subsequently, the larval offspring are advected by large-scale eastward ocean currents towards continental waters. However, the Sargasso Sea is oligotrophic, with generally low plankton biomass, and the feeding biology of eel larvae has so far remained a mystery, hampering understanding of this peculiar life history. DNA barcoding of gut contents of 61 genetically identified A. anguilla larvae caught in the Sargasso Sea showed that even the smallest larvae feed on a striking variety of plankton organisms, and that gelatinous zooplankton is of fundamental dietary importance. Hence, the specific plankton composition seems essential for eel larval feeding and growth, suggesting a linkage between eel survival and regional plankton productivity. These novel insights into the prey of Atlantic eels may furthermore facilitate eel larval rearing in aquaculture, which ultimately may replace the unsustainable use of wild-caught glass eels.",
author = "L. Riemann and H. Alfredsson and Hansen, {Michael M{\o}ller} and Als, {Thomas Damm} and Nielsen, {Torkel Gissel} and Peter Munk and Kim Aarestrup and G.E. Maas and Henrik Sparholt and Pedersen, {Michael Ingemann} and M. Bachler and M. Castonguay",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.1098/rsbl.2010.0411",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "819--822",
journal = "Biology Letters",
issn = "1744-9561",
publisher = "The/Royal Society",
number = "6",

}

Riemann, L, Alfredsson, H, Hansen, MM, Als, TD, Nielsen, TG, Munk, P, Aarestrup, K, Maas, GE, Sparholt, H, Pedersen, MI, Bachler, M & Castonguay, M 2010, 'Qualitative assessment of the diet of European eel larvae in the Sargasso Sea resolved by DNA barcoding', Biology Letters, vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 819-822. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2010.0411

Qualitative assessment of the diet of European eel larvae in the Sargasso Sea resolved by DNA barcoding. / Riemann, L.; Alfredsson, H.; Hansen, Michael Møller; Als, Thomas Damm; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel; Munk, Peter; Aarestrup, Kim; Maas, G.E.; Sparholt, Henrik; Pedersen, Michael Ingemann; Bachler, M.; Castonguay, M.

In: Biology Letters, Vol. 6, No. 6, 2010, p. 819-822.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Qualitative assessment of the diet of European eel larvae in the Sargasso Sea resolved by DNA barcoding

AU - Riemann, L.

AU - Alfredsson, H.

AU - Hansen, Michael Møller

AU - Als, Thomas Damm

AU - Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

AU - Munk, Peter

AU - Aarestrup, Kim

AU - Maas, G.E.

AU - Sparholt, Henrik

AU - Pedersen, Michael Ingemann

AU - Bachler, M.

AU - Castonguay, M.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - European eels (Anguilla anguilla) undertake spawning migrations of more than 5000 km from continental Europe and North Africa to frontal zones in the Sargasso Sea. Subsequently, the larval offspring are advected by large-scale eastward ocean currents towards continental waters. However, the Sargasso Sea is oligotrophic, with generally low plankton biomass, and the feeding biology of eel larvae has so far remained a mystery, hampering understanding of this peculiar life history. DNA barcoding of gut contents of 61 genetically identified A. anguilla larvae caught in the Sargasso Sea showed that even the smallest larvae feed on a striking variety of plankton organisms, and that gelatinous zooplankton is of fundamental dietary importance. Hence, the specific plankton composition seems essential for eel larval feeding and growth, suggesting a linkage between eel survival and regional plankton productivity. These novel insights into the prey of Atlantic eels may furthermore facilitate eel larval rearing in aquaculture, which ultimately may replace the unsustainable use of wild-caught glass eels.

AB - European eels (Anguilla anguilla) undertake spawning migrations of more than 5000 km from continental Europe and North Africa to frontal zones in the Sargasso Sea. Subsequently, the larval offspring are advected by large-scale eastward ocean currents towards continental waters. However, the Sargasso Sea is oligotrophic, with generally low plankton biomass, and the feeding biology of eel larvae has so far remained a mystery, hampering understanding of this peculiar life history. DNA barcoding of gut contents of 61 genetically identified A. anguilla larvae caught in the Sargasso Sea showed that even the smallest larvae feed on a striking variety of plankton organisms, and that gelatinous zooplankton is of fundamental dietary importance. Hence, the specific plankton composition seems essential for eel larval feeding and growth, suggesting a linkage between eel survival and regional plankton productivity. These novel insights into the prey of Atlantic eels may furthermore facilitate eel larval rearing in aquaculture, which ultimately may replace the unsustainable use of wild-caught glass eels.

U2 - 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0411

DO - 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0411

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 20573615

VL - 6

SP - 819

EP - 822

JO - Biology Letters

JF - Biology Letters

SN - 1744-9561

IS - 6

ER -