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Effects of temperature, light intensity and salinity on asexual reproduction of the scyphozoan, Aurelia aurita (L.) in Taiwan

by Liu, Wen-Cheng

Abstract (Summary)
Jellyfish blooms create problems worldwide, which may increase with global warming, water pollution, and over-fishing. Benthic polyps (scyphistomae) asexually produce buds and small jellyfish (ephyrae), and this process may determine the population size of the large, swimming scyphomedusae. Environmental factors that affect the asexual reproduction rates include food, temperature, salinity, and light. In the present study, polyps of Aurelia aurita (L.), originated from Tapong Bay, southwest Taiwan, were studied in different combinations of temperatures (T), light intensities (L), and salinities (S). In the T (20, 25, 30¢XC) ¡Ñ L (372, 56, and 0 lux) experiment which was with a 12 h light-12 h dark photoperiod, production of new buds decreased with warmer temperatures and stronger light intensity. Warm temperatures accelerated strobilation and increased the daily production of ephyrae. The proportion of ephyrae to total asexual reproduction (new buds + ephyrae) increased dramatically in warmer temperatures and stronger light. Survival period was reduced at the highest temperature. Strobilation did not occur at the lowest temperature in darkness. All measures of total asexual reproduction indicated that medium to high temperatures would lead to faster production of more jellyfish; however, continuous high temperatures might result in high polyp mortality. Light intensity affected asexual reproduction less than did temperature, only significantly accelerating the strobilation rate. Because the interactive effects of light and temperature were significant for polyp survival time and the production of jellyfish per polyp, combined light and temperature effects are likely important for strobilation in situ. In the T (27, 31, 35¢XC) ¡Ñ S (25, 30, and 35) experiment which was in dark environment, production of new buds decreased with higher temperatures and salinity. The proportion of ephyrae to total asexual reproduction (new buds + ephyrae) increased with warmer temperatures, but survival period was reduced at the highest salinity, and strobilation was substantially reduced, even though the temperature was warmer compared to the T ¡Ñ L experiment. Salinity affected asexual reproduction less than did temperature, only significantly affecting production of new buds, and slightly affecting survival period and the proportion of ephyrae to total asexual reproduction. According to these two experiments, warmer temperature may accelerate strobilation in light condition and lead to better yield of swimming jellyfish, however continuously warm temperature would reduce the yield by decreasing budding and higher mortality. Complete dark led to much less strobilation, especially at low temperatures, suggesting that the existence of light might be more important than light intensity. The effects of salinity on asexual reproduction were not as conspicuous as that of temperature and light.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Kwee-Siong Tew; Wen-Tseng Lo; Chang-Tai Shih

School:National Sun Yat-Sen University

School Location:China - Taiwan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:jellyfish temperature global warming aurelia aurita scyphozoan light intensity salinity

ISBN:

Date of Publication:02/06/2009

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