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Asexual reproduction in scyphistomae of Aurelia sp.: Effects of temperature and salinity in an experimental study


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Willcox, ST, Moltschaniwskyj, NA and Crawford, CM 2007 , 'Asexual reproduction in scyphistomae of Aurelia sp.: Effects of temperature and salinity in an experimental study' , Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, vol. 353, no. 1 , pp. 107-114 , doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2007.09.006.

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The growth and survival of colonies and individuals within sedentary polyp colonies of moon jellyfish (Aurelia sp.) was
investigated at three temperatures and three salinities in laboratory experiments. Growth rates of colonies (number of polyps and
number of buds in the colony) and individuals (number of buds per active scyphistomae) significantly increased with temperature,
but were not affected by salinity. Survival was high in all treatment combinations indicating a wide tolerance to environmental
conditions. However, scyphistomae at the lowest temperature had a greater percentage of larger individuals and slower population
growth rate than those at warmer temperatures. These results suggest that the reproductive strategy to maximise production of
Aurelia sp. is to increase the size of scyphistomae colonies by asexual budding when conditions are good (warmer temperatures
and abundant food generally during spring and summer). Budding activity slows, but the size of scyphistomae increases, during the
colder winter period leading up to strobilation, resulting in the production of a greater number of ephyrae. The trigger for
strobilation is possibly stressful conditions. However, if trigger conditions do not occur, the colony of scyphistomae can continue to
grow and survive through a broad range of conditions spanning many seasons, thus ensuring survival of the population.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Willcox, ST and Moltschaniwskyj, NA and Crawford, CM
Keywords: Benthic; Colony; Dynamics; Environment; Jellyfish; Polyps
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
ISSN: 0022-0981
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.jembe.2007.09.006
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