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The occurrence of the jellyfish Aequorea cf. forskalea in the Adriatic Sea

Malej, Alenka; Supić, Nastjenjka; Violić, Ivana; Pestorić, Branka; Paliaga, Paolo; Vodopivec, Martin; Bojanić, Natalia; Lučić, Davor (2022) The occurrence of the jellyfish Aequorea cf. forskalea in the Adriatic Sea. Acta Adriatica, 63 (2). pp. 175-192. ISSN 0001-5113

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Jellyfish are becoming an increasingly important component of studies of the global marine environment, as their frequent mass phenomena affect ecosystem performance and have economic and health consequences. Recent research has focused primarily on mass occurrences of scyphozoans and ctenophores, while less attention has been paid to hydromedusae blooms, which can also have significant impacts on the marine ecosystem with economic consequences. Like many members of the Scyphozoa and Ctenophora, Aequorea species can be numerous and form blooms. Based on surveys from 2000 to 2020 and information provided by marine professionals, we examine the (multiannual) variability, seasonality, and spatial distribution patterns of the poorly studied temperate species Aequorea cf. forskalea (Hydrozoa: Leptothecata). We hypothesized that this macrogelatinous jellyfish with a bipartite life cycle (benthic polyps and planktonic medusae) is sensitive to seasonal and long-term temperature fluctuations, particularly because temperature has been shown to play a critical role in mediating transitions in the life cycle of cnidarians. The cold-water affinity of A. cf. forskalea was confirmed by a significant negative correlation with temperature and the most frequent occurrence during the winter-spring period. For the northern Adriatic (Gulf of Trieste), sea temperature data and semi-quantitative plankton data are available for the first decade of the 20th century, allowing comparison of the historical data (1900-1911) with our current data set. Compared to historical records, the current occurrence of A. cf. forskalea differs significantly. With the warming of the northern Adriatic Sea since the beginning of the 20th century, the current phenology of A. cf. forskalea has changed, probably related to the delayed production of medusae by hydroids in autumn, the absence of medusae in this season and their less frequent occurrence in winter

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: hydromedusae, blooms, long-term monitoring, multiannual variability, Mediterranean Sea
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Marine Science
Divisions: Center for Marine Research
Depositing User: Lorena Palameta
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2023 12:01
DOI: 10.32582/aa.63.2.4

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