Discriminating populations of medusae (Chironex fleckeri, Cubozoa) using statolith microchemistry

Mooney, Christopher J., and Kingsford, Michael J. (2017) Discriminating populations of medusae (Chironex fleckeri, Cubozoa) using statolith microchemistry. Marine and Freshwater Research, 68. pp. 1144-1152.

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The structure of medusae populations is poorly known. Natural geochemical signatures based on elemental composition of calcified structures are a common tool for investigating population structure or connectivity in marine systems. Chironex fleckeri (Cubozoa) medusae have a hard calcified structure, the statolith. Laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to determine the elemental composition of statoliths at varying spatial scales. We investigated medusae population structure using both univariate (element : Ca ratios) and multivariate (multielement: Ca signature) analyses. Significant differences in some elemental ratios were found among regions (separated by hundreds of kilometres) and among many sites (separated by kilometres) within regions. Canonical discriminant analyses of multi-element : Ca signatures successfully distinguished between both regions and sites within regions with correct classifications of 100% of samples to some locations. Statolith microchemistry can help discriminate populations of jellyfish, but a multiseason comparison demonstrated the need to calibrate spatial differences by season. Our evidence and recent ecological data suggest that populations of C. fleckeri medusae are highly localised at spatial scales of kilometres; potential causal factors are discussed.

Item ID: 48584
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: box jellyfish, laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, LA-ICP-MS, population substructure
Funders: Australian Lions Foundation, Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2017 05:24
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 > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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