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WANG Pengpeng, ZHANG Fang, SUN Song, WANG Weicheng, WAN Aiyong, LI Chaolun. Experimental clearance rates of Aurelia coerulea ephyrae and medusae, and the predation impact on zooplankton in Jiaozhou Bay[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2020, 38(4): 1256-1269

Experimental clearance rates of Aurelia coerulea ephyrae and medusae, and the predation impact on zooplankton in Jiaozhou Bay

WANG Pengpeng1,2,3,5, ZHANG Fang1,2,3,5, SUN Song1,2,3,4,5, WANG Weicheng1,2,5, WAN Aiyong4,5, LI Chaolun1,2,3,5
1 CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
2 Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266071, China;
3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
4 Jiaozhou Bay Marine Ecosystem Research Station, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
5 Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
The population explosion of jellyfish Aurelia coerulea occurred in Jiaozhou Bay, China in 2009. The potential predation impact of A. coerulea on zooplankton was investigated. Population clearance potential and residence time (t1/2) for copepods were calculated from laboratory clearance rates and measurements of jellyfish size and abundance from May to August 2009 in Jiaozhou Bay. Clearance rates varied widely with prey organisms, but they were not significantly different among various prey concentrations. Medusae captured rotifers, fish larvae and hydromedusae more efficiently than fish eggs, copepods and chaetognaths. Ephyrae captured rotifers and hydromedusae more efficiently than fish larvae and copepods. Clearance rate linearly increased with the cross sectional area of A. coerulea (size from 0.3 to 7.1 cm). Water temperature also had a marked effect on clearance rate and this was related to the increased beat frequency as water temperature increased. In early May 2009, A. coerulea potentially cleared the volume of water in the Bay less than 0.001 times a day, but this value was estimated to be more than 0.3 times a day in July. The t1/2 for copepods was less than 6 d in June and July. Abundances of copepods, hydromedusae and chaetognaths were extremely low in 2009 compared to 2008 and 2010 (jellyfish non-bloom years). Large predation pressure by the A. coerulea population occurred to control zooplankton communities in Jiaozhou Bay. A. coerulea, when present at a high population level, can be a keystone species in Jiaozhou Bay and control the trophic structure here.
Key words:    scyphomedusae|predation pressure|prey selection|zooplankton control|jellyfish bloom   
Received: 2020-01-14   Revised: 2020-04-19
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