2020-08-26Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/ani10091509
Fatty Acid Composition in Blubber, Liver, and Muscle of Marine Mammals in the Southern Baltic Sea
Marine mammals play an important role in marine ecosystems. However, as they are less accessible for research, relatively little is known about their physiology compared to terrestrial mammals. The stranding scheme of the Deutsches Meeresmuseum (Stralsund, Germany) continuously collects strandings and by-catches of marine mammals in the Baltic Sea in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In this project, the fatty acid composition of the liver, skeletal muscles, and blubber of harbour porpoises and grey seals from the southern Baltic Sea was investigated for the first time. In the liver and blubber tissue, the values and concentrations measured for both species are consistent with studies on other marine mammals. In a direct comparison of the focus species, the skeletal muscles of harbour porpoises exhibit higher concentrations of fatty acids than those of grey seals. In the future, these studies will be extended to the entire Baltic Sea, as we suspect that fatty acid composition can be used to determine the nutritional status of the animals and thus will allow for an objective assessment of the body condition.
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