Thé, Jorge, Mammone, Marta, Piraino, Stefano, Pennetta, Antonio, De Benedetto, Giuseppe, Garcia, Tatiane, de Oliveira Soares, Marcelo ORCID: and Rossi, Sergio (2023) Understanding Cassiopea andromeda (Scyphozoa) Invasiveness in Different Habitats: A Multiple Biomarker Comparison. Water, 15 (14). p. 2599. DOI

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A dual nutrition mode (i.e., mixotrophy) can be advantageous for alien species in a new environment. In Cearà (Brazil), the symbiotic jellyfish Cassiopea andromeda is rapidly spreading under diverse environmental conditions across natural and human-altered coastal habitats, such as mangroves and shrimp farms. Here we report on the trophic ecology of the alien upside-down jellyfish sampled in these two contrasting coastal habitats during the dry (July–October) and rainy (January–April) seasons, investigated by means of organic biomarkers (lipids, carbohydrates) and bulk tissue stable isotope (δ15N and δ13C) analyses. Total lipid content of jellyfish gonads was generally higher in shrimp farms, whereas no significant difference in carbohydrate concentration was found in jellyfish tissues from the two different habitats. Similarly, there were no significant differences in the δ15N values of jellyfish tissues from the two contrasting habitats, whereas the δ13C values were higher in jellyfish from shrimp farms. Overall, the higher carbon-enriched value in aquaculture ponds supports the hypothesis of differences of available food sources compared to the natural mangrove habitats, where food availability exhibits a stronger seasonality. In fact, aquaculture ponds are characterized by human-driven regular food supply, leading to more stable trophic conditions and to enhanced growth, lipid production, and gonadal output of C. andromeda jellyfish. This investigation may contribute to predicting how Cassiopea mixotrophy may contribute to explaining its differential success in different habitats.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2
Research affiliation: Ecology > Reef Systems
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
ISSN: 2073-4441
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2023 10:06
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:31

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