Reproduction and life history strategies of the common jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, in relation to its ambient environment

Lucas, C.H. (2001) Reproduction and life history strategies of the common jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, in relation to its ambient environment. Hydrobiologia, 451, (1-3), 229-246. (doi:10.1023/A:1011836326717).


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The scyphozoan Aurelia aurita (Linnaeus) is a cosmopolitan species, having been reported from a variety of coastal and shelf sea environments around the world. It has been extensively studied over the last 100 years or so, and examination of the literature reveals three striking features: (1) the presence of populations in a wide range of environmental conditions; (2) large inter-population differences in abundance and life history patterns over large and small spatial scales; and (3) inter-annual variability in various aspects of its population dynamics. A. aurita is clearly a highly flexible species that can adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions. While various physiological and behavioural characteristics explain how A. aurita populations can take advantage of their surrounding environment, they do not explain what governs the observed temporal and spatial patterns of abundance, and the longevity or lifespan of populations. Understanding these features is necessary to predict how bloom populations might form. In a given habitat, the distribution and abundance of benthic marine invertebrates have been found to be maintained by four factors: larval recruitment (sexual reproduction), migration, mortality and asexual reproduction. The aims of this review are to determine the role of reproduction and life history strategies of the benthic and pelagic phases of A. aurita in governing populations of medusae, with special attention given to the dynamic interaction between A. aurita and its surrounding physical and biological environment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Reprinted in: Purcell, J.E. et al. eds. Jellyfish blooms: ecological and societal importance. (Procs of International Conference on Jellyfish Blooms, Gulf Shores, Alabama, 12-14 Jan 2000), Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic, 2001, 229-246.
ISSNs: 0018-8158 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: medusa, polyp, reproduction, recruitment, temperature, food
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 38002
Date Deposited: 26 May 2006
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2015 02:32

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