Allard B, Danger M, Ten-Hage L, Lacroix G
Biomanipulation, Biotic compartments, fatty acids, Sterols, trophic cascade, mesocosm, freshwater, 40 m3, Lake Creteil, France
The effects of food web structure on the quantity and biochemical composition of seston, zooplankton and recently deposited sediment in experimental freshwatermesocosms were examined. Food web structure was manipulated by addition of zooplanktivorous fish. Biochemical characterisations were carried out using lipidbiomarkers (sterols, fatty acids, chlorophyll-derived compounds and long-chain alkanediols). Fish addition decreased zooplankton biomass and increased seston biomass and deposited sediment through a trophic cascade. Fish presencestrongly influenced the biochemical characteristics of seston and sediment. In contrast, food web structure had a minor impact on the lipid biomarker composition of zooplankton. Although the relative abundance of sterols in the differentcompartments did not differ strongly between treatments, sterol profiles in seston and sediment depended on food web structure. The predominance of D7-sterols in seston and sediment in the fish treatment indicated a major contribution of Chlorophyceae. In contrast, the distribution of sterols in seston and sediment in the fishless treatment, dominated by cholesterol, indicated a major zooplanktonic input. The distribution of fatty acids and the relative abundance of chlorophyll-derived compounds and long-chain alkanediols agreed with the predominant contribution of phytoplankton or zooplankton to seston and sediment in the two treatments. The relative abundance of bacterial biomarkers suggested that the contribution of bacteria was rather low. The high relative abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and the absence of stanols in sediments suggested low microbial reworking of organic matter in the recently accumulated sediments. The trophic cascade, generated by the addition of fish, increased the relative abundance of PUFAs in deposited organic matter, thus enhancing sediment quality and potential degradability.