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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 455 - Feature article
A researcher attaches an acoustic transmitter to the underside of a lion’s mane jellyfish, Cyanea capillata. Photo: Chris J. Harvey

Moriarty PE, Andrews KS, Harvey CJ, Kawase M


Vertical and horizontal movement patterns of scyphozoan jellyfish in a fjord-like estuary


Despite the importance of jellyfish in marine ecosystems, basic information on their swimming behavior is lacking. Moriarty and co-workers used acoustic telemetry to monitor small- and large-scale movement patterns of two jellyfish species, Cyanea capillata and Phacellophora camtschatica, in Hood Canal, WA, USA. Similar to other marine species, the jellyfish exhibited considerable individual variation in horizontal and vertical movement, though several patterns of behavior emerged. C. capillata performed diel vertical migrations at large spatio-temporal scales, while P. camtschatica did not. Both species tolerated hypoxic conditions for several hours. Additionally, both actively swam against incoming flood tides; they were not passively planktonic. Nearly all individuals showed net movement into Hood Canal, suggesting that the canal may be a sink for jellyfish.


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