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Title: Dwarf eelgrass (Zostera noltii) leaf fatty acid profile during a natural restoration process: Physiological and ecological implications
Authors: Duarte B, Bernardo
Matos, Ana Rita
Pedro, Silvia
Marques, João Carlos
Adão, Helena
Caçador, Isabel
Editors: Marques, J.C.
Keywords: Ecosystem engineers
Essential fatty acids
Issue Date: 4-Jun-2019
Publisher: Elsevier BV.
Citation: Duarte B, Matos, AR., Pedro, S., Marques, JC, Adão, H., I Caçador 2019. Dwarf eelgrass (Zostera noltii) leaf fatty acid profile during a natural restoration process: Physiological and ecological implications. Ecological Indicators, 106, 105452
Abstract: Seagrass beds are among the most relevant ecosystem engineers, providing essential ecosystem services for the surrounding coastal communities. Alongside, these ecosystems are among the most threaten in the world, and thus several restoration projects have been developed in the past years. Seagrasses are important sources of essential fatty acids (FA) for animals, which are unable to synthetize them. During the seagrass growth and photochemical maturation, there is a membrane remodelling, where some fatty acids are synthetized. When analysing the FA changes at different development stages, one of the first noticeable changes is the increase in C16:1t (trans-hexadecenoic acid), associated to an increase in the chloroplast membrane fluidity, essential for the efficient energy transduction processes to occur in the thylakoids. Also, interesting to observe are the high levels of omega-3 and -6 (30–43% and 18–31% of total fatty acid content, respectively) present in this seagrass, reinforcing the nutritional value of this species as source of essential fatty acids for the primary consumers. Additionally, it is possible to observe that in the more mature plants there is a high leaf concentration of C18:3. Recent reports suggest that C18:3 can act as a direct scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS), indicating a lower stress level, as suggested by the higher photochemical efficiency previously observed. Moreover, it is also interesting to observe that total long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) content show a significant increase with the biomass development. These LC-PUFAs are not produced by higher plants and their production in animals occurs at low rates, suggesting they may have as origin the microalgae in the grass surface, adding another important ecosystem service to these prairies, as support for microalgae development and carriers of LC-PUFAs into the food web. This membrane remodelling appears to be on the basis of the photochemical maturation of these seagrasses observed in previous studies and can be used as potential and efficient tool to monitor the development stage of the prairies and its physiological status in future restoration processes. Moreover, it becomes evident that highly developed seagrass beds are crucial food source providers in terms of essential fatty acids to the estuarine heterotrophic life.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:BIO - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica
MARE-UE - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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