Lacustrine characteristics predict lipid contents of mysid shrimp (Mysis diluviana) populations

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The freshwater mysid shrimp (Mysis diluviana) is a keystone species in many aquatic food webs. In this study, the lipid contents of mysid populations sampled from 19 lakes located in southern Ontario were determined to investigate the extent of interlacustrine variability in this characteristic, and examine potential relationships between mysid lipid content and other biotic and abiotic factors associated with lake trophodynamics. Individual mysid lipid contents ranged from 6.0 to 59.8 % (dry wt.) with average lipid contents across the sampled lakes ranging from 9.8 to 36.9 %. Principal components analysis demonstrated that mysid inhabited lakes could be differentiated using specific water chemistry, morphometric, and zooplankton population characteristics. Specifically, a subset of the study lakes was characterized by higher dissolved organic carbon concentrations, shallower Secchi depths, and significantly (p < 0.01) higher mysid lipid contents relative to other lakes included in the study. General linear modeling demonstrated that Secchi depth combined with lake maximum depth and benthic oxygen levels were significant (r2 = 0.69; p < 0.01) predictors of mysid lipid contents across the study populations with Secchi depth alone being a strong (r2 = 0.51) predictor of mysid population lipid contents. These results emphasize the importance of mysids as a lipid-rich macroinvertebrate and their contribution as a prey energy resource in freshwater food webs and demonstrate that easily quantifiable lacustrine characteristics such as Secchi depth can be indicators of energy accumulation in mysid populations.

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