Interannual size changes of adult Aurelia sp.5 medusae stage in the Marine Protected Area of Mljet Island South Adriatic

Kogovsek, Tjasa, Molinero, Juan Carlos, Lucic, Davor, Onofri, Ivona, Gangai, Barbara, Miloslavic, Marijana, Bonnet, Delphine and Malej, Alenka (2012) Interannual size changes of adult Aurelia sp.5 medusae stage in the Marine Protected Area of Mljet Island South Adriatic Acta Adriatica, 53 (2). pp. 233-242.

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Aurelia aurita s.l. is the most widespread scyphozoan jellyfish that recurrently appear "en mass" and forms large aggregations mainly in coastal waters, embayments and estuaries. Beside anthropogenic factors controlling jellyfish populations climate change may play an important role. The aim of this study was to assess whether climate-related factors in absence of other anthropogenically induced stressor influence medusae size. We investigated seasonal and interannual changes in the size of Aurelia in a "jelly lake" in the National Park of Mljet Island (Croatia) where minimal human impact on the environment makes the Veliko Jezero a natural mesocosm for understanding the impact of climate change on the Aurelia population. The observed changes suggest Aurelia medusa population response to changing environment, in particular to enhanced temperature, by reduced body sizes. Comparison of Aurelia population dynamics from different regions in the Mediterranean Sea revealed the unique feature of the Veliko Jezero population. Despite the similarity of the environmental windows of medusae occurrences in the Veliko Jezero and regions in the Mediterranean Sea, medusae in the Veliko Jezero are present all year round. It seems that the lake bathymetry enables medusae to vertically migrate to deeper and cooler water layer, avoiding the limiting temperatures developed in the upper layer during the summer. These conditions may prolong the Aurelia medusae life span and together with continuous strobilation support the stability of the Aurelia medusae population all year round.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000313420800005
Keywords: moon jellyfish; marine lake; climate-related factor; vertical migration; Mediterranean Sea; POPULATION-DYNAMICS; SEXUAL REPRODUCTION; CTENOPHORE BLOOMS; SP SCYPHOZOA; JELLYFISH; AURITA; CLIMATE; SEA; TEMPERATURE; ENVIRONMENT
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0001-5113
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2013 13:42
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2016 11:31

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