2011 Volume 9 Issue 2 Pages 101-109
Some researchers suggest that Zostera japonica has important roles as primary producers in tidal flat ecosystem. Recently, it is known that the methods involving tracers in stable isotope ratio analysis and fatty acid structures stand up to clarify the origin of organic matter. If these methods can be used, it would be possible to clarify the role of organic matter derived from Z. japonica. However, these methods cannot be used yet because the characteristics of stable isotope ratios and fatty acid structures in Z. japonica are not clear. The objectives of this research are the clarification of the characteristics of stable isotope ratio and fatty acid structure in Z. japonica. Moreover, the availability as tracer of organic matter origin was explored; and the characteristics of stable isotope and fatty acid structure of Z. japonica were compared with other primary producers in tidal flat. Results showed that Z. japonica contained large amounts of 18:2n6 and 18:3n3 and they were used as biomarkers of other seagrass-derived organic matter. In addition, Z. japonica also contained LCFAs, which is used as biomarker of terrestrial plants. These results show that LCFAs are not the only biomarkers that can be used to trace the organic matter in terrestrial plants.