The diet of the calanoid copepod, Pseudodiaptomus hessei, in a permanently open southern African estuary inferred from fatty acid analyses

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Abstract

The fatty acid (FA) composition of Pseudodiaptomus hessei, one of the most abundant copepod species in southern African estuaries and lakes, reveals potential food selectivity and the importance of flagellate prey in their diets. Differences in FA profiles between males and females were recorded; however, none of these patterns matched the reproductive activities of the copepod. Our findings stress the importance of improving our knowledge of FA biosynthesis pathways to employ fatty acids as trophic markers in feeding studies of zooplankton in temperate environments.

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