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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 688:49-56 (2022)  -  DOI:

Bioenergetic model and specific growth rates of jellyfish Aurelia spp

Hans Ulrik Riisgård1,*, Poul S. Larsen2

1Marine Biological Research Centre, University of Southern Denmark, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The common jellyfish Aurelia spp. often appears in large numbers in coastal regions around the world, having a considerable predation impact on zooplankton. To better understand and quantify this phenomenon, several laboratory and field studies have determined growth rates by recording umbrella diameter and/or dry weight versus time. However, there appears to be no model describing such data. Here, we use a bioenergetic model for growth of Aurelia spp. dry mass (W) based on ingested food minus respiration, leading to the weight-specific growth rate μ (1/W) dW/dt = aWb, where the constant a depends on prey concentration and the exponent is b = -0.2. The model is tested against Aurelia spp. data in several examples, some of which represent well-fed conditions that show fair agreement with the model (b = -0.2 to -0.4), while others depart increasingly from the model (b < -0.4) with increasing W, likely due to suboptimal and fluctuating prey concentrations. Based on the model and available data, it is suggested that for a given size W, the specific growth rate increases linearly with prey concentration up to about 5 to 6 Artemia sp. l-1, where a maximal growth rate (μmax) is reached which is not exceeded for higher prey concentrations.

KEY WORDS: Energy budget · Bioenergetic growth model · Specific growth rate · Jellyfish

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Cite this article as: Riisgård HU, Larsen PS (2022) Bioenergetic model and specific growth rates of jellyfish Aurelia spp. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 688:49-56.

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