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Modeling vitamin B1 transfer to consumers in the aquatic food web

Journal article
Authors M. J. Ejsmond
N. Blackburn
E. Fridolfsson
P. Haecky
A. Andersson
M. Casini
Andrea Belgrano
S. Hylander
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 9
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2019
Published at Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment
Language en
Keywords salmon salmo-salar, thiamine-deficiency, baltic salmon, b-vitamins, reproductive disorder, fish, sea, m74, microalgae, discovery, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Marine ecology


Vitamin B-1 is an essential exogenous micronutrient for animals. Mass death and reproductive failure in top aquatic consumers caused by vitamin B-1 deficiency is an emerging conservation issue in Northern hemisphere aquatic ecosystems. We present for the first time a model that identifies conditions responsible for the constrained flow of vitamin B-1 from unicellular organisms to planktivorous fishes. The flow of vitamin B-1 through the food web is constrained under anthropogenic pressures of increased nutrient input and, driven by climatic change, increased light attenuation by dissolved substances transported to marine coastal systems. Fishing pressure on piscivorous fish, through increased abundance of planktivorous fish that overexploit mesozooplankton, may further constrain vitamin B-1 flow from producers to consumers. We also found that key ecological contributors to the constrained flow of vitamin B-1 are a low mesozooplankton biomass, picoalgae prevailing among primary producers and low fluctuations of population numbers of planktonic organisms.

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