The Strait of Messina is certainly a focal area for the biological cycle of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca in the Western Mediterranean Sea. By means of both original and literature data, a conceptual model outlining the biological cycle of this species is proposed. P. noctiluca reproduces from late winter to late spring in the Aeolian Island Archipelago. From late spring to early summer, currents transport newly produced young individuals (20-30 mm bell diameter) eastwards, towards the Strait. The Strait of Messina ecosystem is not a suitable reproduction area for its intense hydrodynamism that would surely lead to a very low reproductive success due to gamete dispersion. This area, however, represents an optimal site for growth, due to its intensive primary and secondary production, but also for an optimal temperature range, lower in summer and higher in winter in respect to the surrounding basins. Pelagia remains all the summer inside the Strait, increasing in bell diameter (50-70 mm) and biomass. Subsequently, in late summer-early autumn, the mature specimens, taking advantage of a typical autumnal downwelling transport, move to deep Tyrrhenian waters where overwinter, to upwell in the Aeolian Archipelago by late winter to start a new cycle.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.