Format

Send to

Choose Destination
R Soc Open Sci. 2017 Nov 29;4(11):171421. doi: 10.1098/rsos.171421. eCollection 2017 Nov.

Jellyfish on the menu: mtDNA assay reveals scyphozoan predation in the Irish Sea.

Author information

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, UK.
2
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, UK.
3
Cefas, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT, UK.
4
School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW, UK.

Abstract

Localized outbreaks of jellyfish, known as blooms, cause a variety of adverse ecological and economic effects. However, fundamental aspects of their ecology remain unknown. Notably, there is scant information on the role jellyfish occupy in food webs: in many ecosystems, few or no predators are known. To identify jellyfish consumers in the Irish Sea, we conducted a molecular gut content assessment of 50 potential predators using cnidarian-specific mtDNA primers and sequencing. We show that jellyfish predation may be more common than previously acknowledged: uncovering many previously unknown jellyfish predators. A substantial proportion of herring and whiting were found to have consumed jellyfish. Rare ingestion was also detected in a variety of other species. Given the phenology of jellyfish in the region, we suggest that the predation was probably targeting juvenile stages of the jellyfish life cycle.

KEYWORDS:

16S mtDNA; diet; gut content analysis; jellyfish; predation

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center