Thermal and osmotic tolerance of 'Irukandji' polyps: Cubozoa; Carukia barnesi

Courtney, Robert, Browning, Sally, Northfield, Tobin, and Seymour, Jamie (2016) Thermal and osmotic tolerance of 'Irukandji' polyps: Cubozoa; Carukia barnesi. PLoS ONE, 11 (7). e0159380. pp. 1-14.

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This research explores the thermal and osmotic tolerance of the polyp stage of the Irukandji jellyfish Carukia barnesi, which provides new insights into potential polyp habitat suitability. The research also targets temperature, salinity, feeding frequency, and combinations thereof, as cues for synchronous medusae production. Primary findings revealed 100% survivorship in osmotic treatments between 19 and 46‰, with the highest proliferation at 26‰. As salinity levels of 26‰ do not occur within the waters of the Great Barrier Reef or Coral Sea, we conclude that the polyp stage of C. barnesi is probably found in estuarine environments, where these lower salinity conditions commonly occur, in comparison to the medusa stage, which is oceanic. Population stability was achieved at temperatures between 18 and 31°C, with an optimum temperature of 22.9°C. We surmise that C. barnesi polyps may be restricted to warmer estuarine areas where water temperatures do not drop below 18°C. Asexual reproduction was also positively correlated with feeding frequency. Temperature, salinity, feeding frequency, and combinations thereof did not induce medusae production, suggesting that this species may use a different cue, possibly photoperiod, to initiate medusae production.

Item ID: 44919
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
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© 2016 Courtney et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Australian Postgraduate Award, Australian Lions Foundation for Scientific and Medical Research on Marine Species Dangerous to Humans
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2016 04:00
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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