Field observations on correlation of fatty acid profiles between suspended particulate matter and green-lipped mussels in subtropical waters of Hong Kong.Mar Pollut Bull. 2008; 57(6-12):662-71.MP
By analysis of the fatty acid profiles in mussel tissues and suspended particulate matter (SPM) in water, the present study showed a significant relationship of the trophic linkage between mussels and the SPM. At seven locations from inner to outer areas along the eutrophic Tolo Harbour and Tolo Channel, Hong Kong, the composition (as percentage of total fatty acids) of both monoenoic and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the tissues of green-lipped mussels Perna viridis and SPM in water had significant correlation (p<0.01). In particular, the composition of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n3) (as percentage of total fatty acids) in mussel tissues was statistically correlated with that in SPM (p<0.01), implying that mussels incorporate DHA, the biomarker of dinoflagellates. Principal component analysis further demonstrated that the fatty acid profiles of SPM were different among locations in the harbour, mid and outer channel of the study area, so were the mussel tissue fatty acid profiles. Cluster analysis of phytoplankton data also revealed the dominance of diatoms in the inner harbour and channel areas, whereas dinoflagellates were abundant in the outer channel waters. The possible implications of using benthic suspension feeders such as green-lipped mussels P. viridis for controlling phytoplankton abundance in coastal waters are discussed.