Marine Biology

, Volume 147, Issue 4, pp 863–868 | Cite as

Effect of low dissolved oxygen concentrations on behavior and predation rates on red sea bream Pagrus major larvae by the jellyfish Aurelia aurita and by juvenile Spanish mackerel Scomberomorus niphonius

  • J. ShojiEmail author
  • R. Masuda
  • Y. Yamashita
  • M. Tanaka
Research Article


A shift in outcomes of predator-prey interactions in plankton community may occur at sublethal dissolved oxygen concentrations that commonly occur in coastal waters. Laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate how a decline in dissolved oxygen concentration alters the predation rate on fish larvae by two estuarine predators. Behavior and consumption of larval fish by moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita (103.1±12.4 mm in bell diameter) and by a juvenile piscivore, Spanish mackerel Scomberomorus niphonius (30.1±2.1 mm in standard length: SL), were observed under four oxygen concentration treatments (1, 2 and 4 mg l−1 and air-saturated: 5.8 mg l−1). Larvae of a coastal marine fish species, red sea bream Pagrus major (7.21±0.52 mm SL), were used as prey for the experiment. Bell contraction rate of the jellyfish did not vary among the oxygen concentrations tested, indicating a tolerance to low oxygen concentration. Gill ventilation rate of the Spanish mackerel increased and swimming speed decreased as the oxygen concentration decreased, indicating that oxygen concentrations ≤4 mg l−1 are physiologically stressful for this species. The number of larvae consumed in 15 min. by jellyfish increased whereas those consumed by Spanish mackerel decreased with the decrease in oxygen concentration. Low oxygen concentrations that are commonly observed in coastal waters of Japan during summer have the potential to increase the relative importance of jellyfish as predator of fish larvae and to change the importance of alternative trophic pathways in estuarine ecosystems.


Standard Length Dissolve Oxygen Concentration Fish Larva Predation Experiment Bell Diameter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We express our thanks to Dr. D.L. Breitburg, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, for teaching the experimental protocol and Dr. E.D. Houde, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland, Dr. Mark Wuenschel, NOAA Beaufort Laboratory, and two anonymous reviewers for providing valuable comments on the manuscript. Thanks are due to Mr. A. Iwamoto and staff of JASFA for providing Spanish mackerel eggs and Dr. H. Motoh and staff of KPSFC for providing red sea bream eggs. All experiments were conducted in Japan, and were in compliance with the current laws.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Estuarine Ecology, Field Science Education and Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Maizuru Fisheries Research Station, Field Science Education and Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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