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Mapping distribution and habitats of Aurelia sp. polyps in Thau lagoon, north-western Mediterranean Sea (France)

Abstract : Aurelia spp. is a cosmopolite scyphozoan species and likely the most studied jellyfish in the world. Its pelagic–benthic life cycle is complex, and the benthic asexual reproducing stage (polyp) is acknowledged fundamentally in bloom onset. Despite this, field investigations remain scarce and are mainly restrained to the western Pacific Ocean. Thau lagoon (43°23′59.10″ N 3°36′37.15″ E), a semi-enclosed system that harbours a resident population of Aurelia sp., is in essence a natural laboratory that offers an ideal framework to investigate the life cycle of the species. We here used a non-destructive approach consisting on a field survey over the entire lagoon (ca. 7 ha) and several substrate types by free diving to examine the distribution and habitat use of Aurelia sp. benthic population. We show that polyps were largely distributed over the entire lagoon, settled mainly on artificial hard substrates, thereby stressing the promoting role of anthropogenic perturbations in coastal areas, i.e. habitat modification, for jellyfish proliferations. Therefore, our study suggest a potential increase in Aurelia sp. benthic populations as an outcome of mounting coastal constructions in the near future; the consequences of which ultimately might promote an increase in jellyfish outbreaks.
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https://hal.umontpellier.fr/hal-01919445
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Soumis le : lundi 12 novembre 2018 - 14:31:10
Dernière modification le : jeudi 19 mai 2022 - 16:10:02

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Raquel M Marques, Michel Cantou, Solenn Soriano, Juan-Carlos Molinero, Delphine Bonnet. Mapping distribution and habitats of Aurelia sp. polyps in Thau lagoon, north-western Mediterranean Sea (France). Marine Biology, Springer Verlag, 2015, 162 (7), pp.1441 - 1449. ⟨10.1007/s00227-015-2680-2⟩. ⟨hal-01919445⟩

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