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Direct and indirect trophic interactions of Aurelia sp. (Scyphozoa) in a stratified marine environment (Mljet Lakes, Adriatic Sea)
Malej, A.; Turk, V.; Lucic, D.; Benovic, A. (2007). Direct and indirect trophic interactions of Aurelia sp. (Scyphozoa) in a stratified marine environment (Mljet Lakes, Adriatic Sea). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(3): 827-841. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-006-0503-1
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Malej, A.
  • Turk, V., more
  • Lucic, D.
  • Benovic, A.

Abstract
    The pattern of diel vertical migration and the trophic interactions of moon jelly (Aurelia sp.) were investigated in the sea lakes of Mljet Island (Adriatic Sea) where this scyphomedusa is present throughout the year. Water column characteristics, plankton and in situ behaviour of Aurelia were followed over several 24-h cycles (6–8 times during each cycle) from the surface to the bottom (44 m). Aurelia exhibited a consistent pattern of diel vertical migration. Most of the time Aurelia were located at the bottom of the thermocline layer at temperatures lower than 19°C. Aurelia migrated towards the surface at dusk when the majority was found within the thermocline or just above it. During the night the medusae sank into the deepest layers below 25 m. The main medusa food items inferred from stomach contents were small adult copepods like Oithona nana and Paracalanus parvus and copepodites of small calanoids and cyclopids. In addition, in situ feeding experiments indicated high clearance rates for nauplii and naked ciliates and clear response of bacterial populations pointing to indirect cascade effects of Aurelia on microbial in addition to classical food web.

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