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Thiamin (vitamin B1) in the aquatic food web
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. (Zooplankton ecology;EcoChange)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4871-7441
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thiamin (vitamin B1) is required for several life-sustaining processes in most organisms and cells, e.g. in the conversion of food to energy. It also serves as an antioxidant and is important for proper nerve signaling. Thiamin is produced predominantly by bacteria and phytoplankton in the aquatic food web. Not all bacteria and phytoplankton, nor any organisms in higher trophic levels can produce thiamin; instead, they rely on a continuous external supply and uptake of this essential compound. Thiamin deficiencies occur episodically in a wide range of taxa, especially in higher trophic levels. In the Baltic Sea, thiamin deficiencies has been most pronounced in salmon (Salmo salar) and recently deficiencies are also reported for other fish species and birds.

This thesis focuses on thiamin dynamics in lower trophic levels, covering primary producers as well as primary consumers, as this topic has not received much attention previously. Thiamin content of common phytoplankton and zooplankton species and the transfer between them was investigated in experiments and field studies. The relationship between thiamin deficiency and underlying environmental factors was also investigated using monitoring data.

Thiamin content differed among phytoplankton classes, species and even strains. Filamentous Cyanophyceae had considerably higher thiamin content than other classes. However, thiamin transfer to copepods was lower, probably associated with difficulties ingesting the filaments. Moreover, thiamin content in seston varied seasonally, being highest during summer when both Prymnesiophyceae and filamentous Cyanophyceae were more abundant. Thiamin content in the two size fractions correlated strongly and was always higher in the smaller size fraction, illustrating the importance of picoplankton and bacteria in the food web. Also, seston thiamin content was higher in the Baltic Proper than in the Skagerrak. Copepods differed in thiamin content among genera, as well as between locations. Acartia sp. had the highest thiamin content and copepods from the Skagerrak had higher levels than congeners from the Baltic Sea. Thiamin deficiency syndromes in salmon was associated with changes in all trophic levels, as well as changes in several abiotic variables.

In all, this thesis provides new insights on thiamin content and seasonal dynamics in various phytoplankton and zooplankton species, the transfer of this vitamin between trophic levels as well as the overall importance of thiamin in the aquatic food web.

Abstract [sv]

Tiamin (vitamin B1) är nödvändigt för flera livsuppehållande processer i cellerna hos det stora flertalet organismer, t.ex. vid omvandling av näring till energi. Vitaminet fungerar också som en antioxidant och är viktigt för korrekt nervfunktion. I den akvatiska födoväven produceras tiamin i första hand av bakterier och växtplankton. Dock inte av alla bakterier och växtplankton, utan dem, liksom organismer från högre trofiska nivåer, måste förlita sig på kontinuerlig tillgång samt upptag av detta livsviktiga ämne. Perioder av tiaminbrist har observerats i flera olika djurgrupper, speciellt i högre trofiska nivåer. I Östersjön har tiaminbrist varit mest utbrett i lax (Salmo salar) och har på senare tid även rapporterats för andra fiskarter och fåglar.

Denna avhandling fokuserar på dynamiken av tiamin i lägre trofiska nivåer, såsom primärproducenter men även primärkonsumenter eftersom den största delen av tidigare forskning fokuserat på de högre trofiska nivåerna. Tiamininnehållet i vanligt förekommande växt- och djurplankton samt överföringen av tiamin mellan de trofiska nivåerna har undersökts i både experiment och fältstudier. Sambandet mellan tiaminbrist och underliggande miljöfaktorer har även undersökts genom att flerårig övervakningsdata analyserats.

Tiaminnivåerna skiljde sig åt mellan olika växtplanktonklasser, mellan arter och även mellan olika isolat av samma art. Filamentösa (trådformiga) cyanobakterier hade betydligt högre tiamininnehåll än övriga växtplankton. Dock var överföringen av tiamin lägre från cyanobakterier till djurplankton jämfört med andra arter, förmodligen på grund av svårigheter att konsumera filamenten. I övrigt så varierade partikulärt bundet tiamin (s.k. seston) säsongsmässigt och var högst under sommaren när både Prymnesiophyceae och filamentösa cyanobakterier utgjorde en stor del av växtplanktonsamhället. Det var en stark korrelation mellan tiaminnivåerna i de två olika storleksfraktionerna av seston och det var alltid högre koncentrationer i den mindre fraktionen, vilket visar vikten av piko-plankton och bakterier i dynamiken av tiamin i den akvatiska födoväven. Seston från Östersjön hade också högre tiamininnehåll än seston från Skagerrak. Tiaminnivåerna i djurplankton skiljde sig åt mellan olika grupper och även mellan platser. Acartia sp. hade högst nivåer av tiamin och hoppkräftor från Skagerrak hade högre nivåer än individer från Östersjön. Slutligen visade analysen att utbrotten av tiaminbrist i lax var relaterade till flera abiotiska faktorer samt förändringar i samtliga trofiska nivåer.

Denna avhandling ger nya insikter kring koncentrationer och säsongsmässig dynamik av tiamin i olika växt- och djurplanktonarter, överföringen av detta vitamin mellan olika trofiska nivåer, samt betydelsen av tiamin i den akvatiska födoväven.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2019. , p. 165
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 368/2019
Keywords [en]
phytoplankton, zooplankton, thiamin, transfer, food web dynamics, micronutrient, vitamin, Baltic Sea, community composition, M74, salmon, B1
Keywords [sv]
växtplankton, djurplankton, tiamin, överföring, födoväv, mikronäringsämne, vitamin, Östersjön, B1, lax
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-90123ISBN: 978-91-89081-12-3 (print)ISBN: 978-91-89081-13-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-90123DiVA, id: diva2:1370509
Public defence
2019-12-06, Fullriggaren (Ma135), Kalmar, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-17 Created: 2019-11-15 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Thiamin (vitamin B1) content in phytoplankton and zooplankton in the presence of filamentous cyanobacteria
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Thiamin (vitamin B1) content in phytoplankton and zooplankton in the presence of filamentous cyanobacteria
2018 (English)In: Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN 0024-3590, E-ISSN 1939-5590, Vol. 63, no 6, p. 2423-2435Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Top predators in several aquatic food webs regularly display elevated reproductive failure, caused by thiamin(vitamin B1)deficiency. The reasons for these low-thiamin levels are not understood and information about the transfer of thiamin from the producers (bacteria and phytoplankton) to higher trophic levels is limited. One main concern is whether cyanobacterial blooms could negatively affect thiamin transfer in aquatic systems. Laboratory experiments with Baltic Sea plankton communities and single phytoplankton species were used to study the effect of filamentous cyanobacteria on the transfer of thiamin from phytoplankton to zooplankton. Experiments showed that the thiamin content in copepods was reduced when exposed to elevated levels of cyanobacteria, although filamentous cyanobacteria had higher levels of thiamin than any other analyzed phytoplankton species. Filamentous cyanobacteria also had a negative effect on copepod egg production despite high concentrations of non-cyanobacterial food. Phytoplankton species composition affected overall thiamin concentration with relatively more thiamin available for transfer when the relative abundance of Dinophyceae was higher. Finally, phytoplankton thiamin levels were lower when copepods were abundant, indicating that grazers affect thiamin levels in phytoplankton community, likely by selective feeding. Overall, high levels of thiamin in phytoplankton communities are not reflected in the copepod community. We conclude that presence of filamentous cyanobacteria during summer potentially reduces the transfer of thiamin to higher trophic levels by negatively affecting phytoplankton and copepod thiamin content as well as copepod reproduction, thereby lowering the absolute capacity of the food web to transfer thiamin through copepods to higher trophic levels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2018
Keywords
Acartia sp., Baltic Sea, community composition, trophic transfer, micronutrient, copepod
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecology, Aquatic Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-77174 (URN)10.1002/lno.10949 (DOI)000450233300009 ()2-s2.0-85050456969 (Scopus ID)
Projects
EcoChangeCentre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial Model Systems - EEMiS
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 215-2012-1319Ecosystem dynamics in the Baltic Sea in a changing climate perspective - ECOCHANGECarl Tryggers foundation The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Available from: 2018-08-17 Created: 2018-08-17 Last updated: 2019-11-15Bibliographically approved
2. Seasonal variation and species-specific concentrations of the essential vitamin B₁ (thiamin) in zooplankton and seston
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seasonal variation and species-specific concentrations of the essential vitamin B₁ (thiamin) in zooplankton and seston
Show others...
2019 (English)In: Marine Biology, ISSN 0025-3162, E-ISSN 1432-1793, Vol. 166, no 6, p. 1-13, article id 70Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Thiamin (vitamin B1) is mainly produced by bacteria and phytoplankton and then transferred to zooplankton and higher trophic levels but knowledge on the dynamics of these processes in aquatic ecosystems is lacking. Hence, the seasonal variation in thiamin content was assessed in field samples of copepods and in pico-, nano- and micro-plankton of two size classes (0.7–3 µm and > 3 µm) collected monthly in the Baltic Sea during 3 years and in the Skagerrak during 1 year. Copepods exhibited species-specific concentrations of thiamin and Acartia sp. had the highest carbon-specific thiamin content, at both locations. Even members of the same genus, but from different systems contained different levels of thiamin, with higher thiamin content per specimen in copepods from the Skagerrak compared to congeners from the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, our results show that the small plankton (0.7–3 µm) had a higher carbon-specific thiamin content compared to the large (> 3 µm). Additionally, there was a large seasonal variation and thiamin content was highly correlated comparing the two size fractions. Finally, there was an overall positive correlation between thiamin content in copepods and plankton. However, for periods of high thiamin content in the two size fractions, this correlation was negative. This suggests a decoupling between thiamin availability in pico-, nano- and micro-plankton and zooplankton in the Baltic Sea. Knowledge about concentrations of this essential micronutrient in the aquatic food web is limited and this study constitutes a foundation for further understanding the dynamics of thiamin in aquatic environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, NY: Springer, 2019
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecology, Aquatic Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-82081 (URN)10.1007/s00227-019-3520-6 (DOI)000467561000005 ()2-s2.0-85065572171 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-04-23 Created: 2019-04-23 Last updated: 2019-11-15Bibliographically approved
3. Species-specific content of thiamin (vitamin B1) in phytoplankton and the transfer to copepods
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Species-specific content of thiamin (vitamin B1) in phytoplankton and the transfer to copepods
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecology, Aquatic Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-90121 (URN)
Available from: 2019-11-15 Created: 2019-11-15 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved
4. Deficiency syndromes in top predators associated with large-scale changes in the Baltic Sea ecosystem
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Deficiency syndromes in top predators associated with large-scale changes in the Baltic Sea ecosystem
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecology, Aquatic Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-90122 (URN)
Available from: 2019-11-15 Created: 2019-11-15 Last updated: 2019-11-19Bibliographically approved

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