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

Lamb, Philip D., Hunter, Ewan, Pinnegar, John, Creer, Simon, Davies, Richard G. and Taylor, Martin I. (2017) Jellyfish on the menu: mtDNA assay reveals scyphozoan predation in the Irish Sea. Royal Society Open Science, 4.

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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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: jellyfish,diet,gut content analysis,predation,16s mtdna
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2017 06:05
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2021 09:43
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171421

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