Investigations on sexual reproduction of jellyfish are essential to understanding mechanisms and patterns of outbreaks formation. Pelagia noctiluca (Forskål, 1775) (Scyphozoa) is known as the predominant jellyfish species with direct development in Western and Central Mediterranean Sea. In this paper we used integrated morphometric, histological, and biochemical approaches to investigate the annual reproductive biology of P. noctiluca from the Strait of Messina (South Thyrrenian Sea), a key proliferation area for this species due to favourable temperatures and high productivity. From November 2011 to September 2012, P. noctiluca sexual reproduction occurred throughout the year, with two seasonal peaks (autumn, spring) of spawning and embryonic development. Gonads of female P. noctiluca were characterized by a large amount of mature eggs of small size (diameter < 200 mm) during high food availability, whereas fewer, larger eggs (diameter > 200 mm) were detected during low availability of prey. Two morphometric indexes were applied: the Gonad-Somatic Index (GSI, gonadal/somatic tissue dry weight ratio) and Fecundity Index (FI, n eggs mm2 * gonadal dry weight). The FI showed longer spawning periods than the GSI, providing a better causal-mechanistic explanation for the year-round occurrence of P. noctiluca in the Strait of Messina. Protein contents of the gonads changed seasonally, with the highest concentrations during the pre-spawning periods. We suggest that investigations on jellyfish sexual reproduction can provide biological information relevant for understanding mechanisms of jellyfish blooms as well as for the management of coastal zones affected by outbreaks of gelatinous species.

Reproductive and bloom patterns of Pelagia noctiluca in the Strait of Messina, Italy

MILISENDA, GIACOMO;BOSCH BELMAR, MARIA DEL MAR;AGLIERI, GIORGIO;BOERO, Ferdinando;PIRAINO, Stefano
2018

Abstract

Investigations on sexual reproduction of jellyfish are essential to understanding mechanisms and patterns of outbreaks formation. Pelagia noctiluca (Forskål, 1775) (Scyphozoa) is known as the predominant jellyfish species with direct development in Western and Central Mediterranean Sea. In this paper we used integrated morphometric, histological, and biochemical approaches to investigate the annual reproductive biology of P. noctiluca from the Strait of Messina (South Thyrrenian Sea), a key proliferation area for this species due to favourable temperatures and high productivity. From November 2011 to September 2012, P. noctiluca sexual reproduction occurred throughout the year, with two seasonal peaks (autumn, spring) of spawning and embryonic development. Gonads of female P. noctiluca were characterized by a large amount of mature eggs of small size (diameter < 200 mm) during high food availability, whereas fewer, larger eggs (diameter > 200 mm) were detected during low availability of prey. Two morphometric indexes were applied: the Gonad-Somatic Index (GSI, gonadal/somatic tissue dry weight ratio) and Fecundity Index (FI, n eggs mm2 * gonadal dry weight). The FI showed longer spawning periods than the GSI, providing a better causal-mechanistic explanation for the year-round occurrence of P. noctiluca in the Strait of Messina. Protein contents of the gonads changed seasonally, with the highest concentrations during the pre-spawning periods. We suggest that investigations on jellyfish sexual reproduction can provide biological information relevant for understanding mechanisms of jellyfish blooms as well as for the management of coastal zones affected by outbreaks of gelatinous species.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/413549
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