MEPS 569:1-13 (2017)  -  DOI:

Different tolerances of jellyfish ephyrae (Aurelia sp. 1) and fish larvae (Paralichthys olivaceus) to nutrient limitations

Lei Chen1,3, Chaolun Li1,2,3,*

1Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 7 Nanhai Road, Qingdao 266071, PR China
2Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266071, PR China
3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19 Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Nutrient imbalance—a mismatch in nutrient ratios between the available food supply and the demands of consumers—has the potential to be transported up food chains, exposing higher trophic-level organisms to nutrient limitations. We performed experiments to estimate the tolerance of jellyfish ephyrae (Aurelia sp. 1) and fish larvae (Paralichthys olivaceus) to nutrient limitations, and analyzed their growth, survival, and elemental homeostasis. As the primary consumer, rotifers Brachionus plicatilis exhibited the lowest amino acid content but the highest fatty acid content in a P-limited treatment. Among the secondary consumers, nutrient limitations (especially P limitation) had significantly negative effects on the growth of P. olivaceus larvae, but no significantly negative effects on Aurelia sp. 1 ephyrae. The 10th percentile mortality time of Aurelia sp. 1 ephyrae was much longer than that of P. olivaceus larvae. In terms of elemental homeostasis, Aurelia sp. 1 ephyrae showed a greater ability to maintain constant chemical composition in their bodies than P. olivaceus larvae. Additionally, growth and survival of P. olivaceus larvae could be negatively affected by the reduction of amino acid contents (but not fatty acids) in their nutrient-limited food. These results indicate that Aurelia sp. 1 ephyrae could be more competitive than P. olivaceus larvae with respect to tolerance of nutrient limitations, and, thus, elemental imbalances may favor increases in jellyfish in some eutrophication regions.

KEY WORDS: Ecological stoichiometry · Phosphorus limitation · Nitrogen limitation · Jellyfish ephyrae · Fish larvae

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Cite this article as: Chen L, Li C (2017) Different tolerances of jellyfish ephyrae (Aurelia sp. 1) and fish larvae (Paralichthys olivaceus) to nutrient limitations. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 569:1-13.

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