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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Prey selection by the scyphomedusan predator Aurelia aurita

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Springer (journals)
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  • B. K. Sullivan 1
  • J. R. Garcia 2
  • G. Klein-MacPhee 1
  • 1) Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode-Island, 02882-1197, Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA
  • 2) Department of Marine Science, University of Puerto Rico, 00708, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

We describe feeding behavior of Aurelia aurita (Linnaeus) using gut content analyses of field-collected specimens and a mesocosm experiment. The field studies were conducted in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA from March to April 1988, and the mesocosm studies were done at the Marine Ecosystems Research Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island. Patterns of prey selection changed with medusa diameter. Smaller medusae (12 mm diameter) consumed mostly hydromedusan prey whereas larger medusae (up to 30 mm diameter) ingested greater numbers of copepod prey. While larger medusae did feed on copepods, their diet also contained more barnacle nauplii and hydromedusae than expected from the relative abundances of these prey types in plankton samples. A marginal flow mechanism of feeding by A. aurita provided an explanation for the patterns of prey selection we observed in medusae of different sizes and among widely divergent prey types. Our data indicated that large prey, with escape speeds slower than the marginal flow velocities around the bell margins of A. aurita, made up a substantial fraction of the daily ration when they were available. Such prey species may be more important to nutrition than the more abundant copepods and microzooplankton. Successful development of young medusae may depend upon an adequate supply of slowly escaping prey.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - biology
  • 3 - marine biology & hydrobiology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - marine & freshwater biology
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Marine Biology

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  • Arthropodes
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