[MARMAM] Alkenones detected in Odontocetes

Diego Rita diegorita10 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 15 00:04:55 PDT 2021

Dear Marmam,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to announce the publication of the
following article in Ecological Indicators:

*Alkenones in oceanic odontocetes as a potential proxy of environmental
water temperature*

*Rita, D.; Borrell, A.; Aguilar, A (2021)* Alkenones in oceanic odontocetes
as a potential proxy of environmental water temperature. Ecol. Indic. 122.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.107240

The alkenones C37:2 and C37:3 are produced exclusively by some haptophyte
species. Their relative proportion (Uk’37 index) may be used to infer the
water temperature where the synthesising haptophyte lived. Alkenones have
been analysed in sediments, planktonic communities and in the low trophic
level, filter-feeding fin whales. However, it is unclear whether they can
be detected in animals exploiting high trophic levels and used to infer the
water temperature in which they live. Alkenones were analysed in blubber
samples from three Mediterranean predatory species: the striped dolphin, an
epipelagic species; the Risso’s dolphin, a deep diver; and the bottlenose
dolphin, a coastal species. Alkenones were detected in all striped dolphin
samples and in most of the Risso’s dolphin samples, but they were below
detection limits in the bottlenose dolphin samples. The inferred tem-
perature for the striped dolphins (16.4 ± 3.3 ºC) was similar to the
average water temperature of the region (16.9 ± 3.9 ºC), but that for the
Risso’s dolphins was lower than expected (12.7 ± 4.4 ºC). The small sample
sizes and the large variance in the Uk’37 index make it difficult to
ascertain if the dissimilarity between the two oceanic species is real.
Although further research is needed to calibrate this bio-indicator, we can
conclude that alkenones are transferred through the trophic web and are
found in oceanic cetaceans situated at a high trophic level.

This is an open access paper and can be accessed using the following link:

Or send me an e-mail (diegorita at ub.edu) for the full text.

Best regards,

Diego Rita

Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Institute of Biodiversity Research (IRBio)
University of Barcelona
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