Jantzen, C, Wild, C, Rasheed, M, El-Zibdah, M and Richter, C (2010) Enhanced pore-water nutrient fluxes by the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea sp. in a Red Sea coral reef. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 411 . pp. 117-125. DOI https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08623.

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Abstract

The common circum-tropical jellyfish Cassiopea sp., unlike other members of the Rhizostomidae (Scyphozoa), exhibits a primarily benthic life. The peculiar orientation of its exumbrella against the sediment is believed to be associated with its mainly autotrophic nutrition, i.e. exposing its zooxanthellae-bearing photosynthetic oral appendages to the sunlight. Here we show that the jellyfish also acts as a nutrient pump, drawing nutrient-rich pore waters from the permeable sediments. Depletion of pore-water ammonium in situ, light-enhanced ammonium uptake, and high rates of photosynthesis determined via oxygen flux measurements and underwater fluorometer analysis (rapid light curves) show that Cassiopea sp. effectively harnesses pore-water nutrients. At high densities Cassiopea sp. may facilitate benthic-pelagic coupling and primary production in oligotrophic coral reefs.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Affiliations > Not ZMT
Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08623
ISSN: 0171-8630
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2019 14:49
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 13:00
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/2984

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