Behavioural and oceanographic isolation of an island-based jellyfish (Copula sivickisi, Class Cubozoa) population

Schlaefer, Jodie A., Wolanski, Eric, Lambrechts, Jonathan, and Kingsford, Michael J. (2021) Behavioural and oceanographic isolation of an island-based jellyfish (Copula sivickisi, Class Cubozoa) population. Scientific Reports, 11. 10280.

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Abstract

Cubozoan jellyfish are classified as plankton despite the strong swimming and orientation abilities of cubomedusae. How these capabilities could affect cubozoan population structures is poorly understood. Medusae of the cubozoan Copula sivickisi can uniquely attach to surfaces with the sticky pads on their bells. Biophysical modelling was used to investigate the spatial scales of connectivity in a C. sivickisi population. When the medusae were active at night they could maintain their observed distribution on fringing reef if they attached to the reef when the current speed exceeded a moderate threshold. This behaviour facilitated the isolation of a C. sivickisi population on reefs fringing Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia. Within this distribution, there was considerable within bay retention and medusae rarely travelled > 3 km. The few (< 0.1%) medusae lost from the island habitat were largely advected into open water and away from the mainland coast which lies 8 km from the island. Given that successful emigration is unlikely, the island population probably represents a stock that is ecologically distinct from any mainland populations. The cosmopolitan distribution of C. sivickisi could contain incipient or cryptic species given the small scales of connectivity demonstrated here.

Item ID: 68152
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2021 00:59
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3708 Oceanography > 370801 Biological oceanography @ 50%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3708 Oceanography > 370803 Physical oceanography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180203 Coastal or estuarine biodiversity @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180501 Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems @ 50%
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