Reading: The ecology of Scyphozoan jellyfish in Lake Illawarra

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The ecology of Scyphozoan jellyfish in Lake Illawarra

Authors:

Kylie A. Pitt ,

Klaus Koop,

David Rissik,

M. J. Kingsford

Abstract

The scyphozoan jellyfish of Lake Illawarra are well known to most people who use Lake Illwarra for research, commercial fishing or recreation. Here we review the biology and ecology of the two most well-studied species, Catostylus mosaicus and Phyllorhiza punctata, and present preliminary results of studies that investigated their role in the trophic and nutrient dynamics of coastal lagoons. Specifically we show that C. mosaicus is a voracious predator of zooplankton and that the presence of medusae may promote production of phytoplankton either via excretion of inorganic nutrients or because grazing by C. mosaicus on zooplankton, in turn, reduces grazing by zooplankton on phytoplankton. Comparisons of rates of excretion by C. mosaicus and P. punctata show that C. mosaicus excretes substantial amounts of NH3 which, during times of their peak biomass, may account for 8% of the NH3 required by phytoplankton. In contrast P. punctata exhibits no net excretion of NH3, probably because its excretory products are predominantly translocated to symbiotic zooxanthellae within its tissues. Hence these species have contrasting roles in nutrient regeneration. Current gaps in our knowledge of the ecology of these species are identified.
How to Cite: Pitt, K.A., Koop, K., Rissik, D. and Kingsford, M.J., 2006. The ecology of Scyphozoan jellyfish in Lake Illawarra. Wetlands Australia, 21(2), pp.pp. 118–126. DOI: http://doi.org/10.31646/wa.266
Published on 28 Feb 2006.
Peer Reviewed

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