We developed new perspectives to identify important questions and to propose approaches for future research on marine food web lipids. They were related to (i) structure and function of lipids, (ii) lipid changes during critical life phases, (iii) trophic marker lipids, and (iv) potential impact of climate change. The first addresses the role of lipids in membranes, storage lipids, and buoyancy with the following key question: How are the properties of membranes and deposits affected by the various types of lipids? The second deals with the importance of various types of lipids during reproduction, development, and resting phases and addresses the role of the different storage lipids during growth and dormancy. The third relates to trophic marker lipids, which are an important tool to follow lipid and energy transfer through the food web. The central question is how can fatty acids be used to identify and quantify food web relationships? With the fourth, hypotheses are presented on effects of global warming, which may result in the reduction or change in abundance of large, lipid-rich copepods in polar oceans, thereby strongly affecting higher trophic levels. The key question is how will lipid dynamics respond to changes in ocean climate at high latitudes?
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