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Burst Feeding of Pelagia noctiluca ephyrae on Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) Eggs

AutorGordoa, Ana ; Acuña Fernández, José Luis; Farrés, Roser ; Bacher, K.
Fecha de publicación2013
EditorPublic Library of Science
CitaciónPLoS ONE 8(9) : e74721 (2013)
ResumenThis study investigates the predation of P. noctiluca ephyrae on Atlantic Bluefin tuna (ABFT) eggs under different experimental conditions. The specific factors considered in the experimental design were: a) water mix conditions to explore predation under two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) prey distributions, b) prey density to investigate the ingestion rate capacity, and c) incubation time to inspect gut saturation. The eggs and jellyfish ephyrae were collected during the 2012 ABFT spawning survey off Ibiza (Balearic Isl., Western Mediterranean). The results showed that the proportion of feeding ephyrae increased with size. The mean clearance rate of feeding ephyrae, 4.14 L h-1, was the highest ever recorded for ephyrae. Under calm conditions the eggs floated at the surface (2D spatial arrangement) and the clearance rates, at low prey densities, were at least twice those under mixed conditions (3D spatial arrangement). At high prey density, clearance rate did not differ between mix conditions, probably due to the fast gut saturation, which was reached in c.a. 15 min, as revealed by time series observations of gut contents. The fast saturation of ephyrae and their slow digestion time of approximately 18 h suggest the existence of a diel feeding periodicity. We conclude that in the Western Mediterranean, P. noctiluca ephyrae are capable of predating on ABFT eggs, a highly pulsed and spatially restricted resource that potentially switches from a 3D to a 2D configuration in the absence of wind-generated turbulence. The P. noctiluca and Atlantic Bluefin tuna egg system might represent an example of a general mechanism linking pelagic and neustonic food webs.
Descripción12 páginas, 2 movies, 3 tablas, 6 figuras.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074721
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