Marine Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 6, pp 1397–1401 | Cite as

Enhanced survival of 0-group gadoid fish under jellyfish umbrellas

  • Christopher P. Lynam
  • Andrew S. Brierley
Research Article


Young (0-group) gadoid fish, which have been observed sheltering beneath jellyfish (Scyphozoa and Hydrozoa) umbrellas, may find refugia from predation by retreating among medusan tentacles. The survival of juvenile gadoids may therefore be improved by high abundances of medusae. Jellyfish (including Cyanea lamarckii and C. capillata) were caught in the North Sea during routine sampling for 0-group gadoids (cod Gadusmorhua, haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus, Norway pout Trisopterus esmarkii and whiting Merlangius merlangus) between 1971 and 1986, and considerable overlaps have been shown between the spatial distributions of these fish and medusae. Here correlations are made between the abundance of medusae in the North Sea and the residual survival of 0-group fish, as quantified by the deviation in 1-group recruitment from the expected Ricker modelled estimate. Significant positive correlations between the residual survival of whiting and medusa abundance are evident for each individual Cyanea sp. and for the combined Cyanea spp. ln(maximum) abundance (all R ≥ 0.60, P < 0.01, N = 15). The abundance of jellyfish may thus be an important factor influencing the mortality of whiting in the North Sea, and as such should be considered in the development of ‘ecosystem-based’ management of whiting stocks.


North Atlantic Oscillation Index Spawn Stock Biomass Residual Survival Commensal Relationship Jellyfish Abundance 
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 are grateful to S. Hay and colleagues at FRS Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen, who collected the jellyfish data. We also thank S. Reimert of ICES for the hydrographic data and J. Hurrell for making the NAOI data freely available. C.P.L. was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, UK.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gatty Marine LaboratoryUniversity of St. AndrewsFifeScotland
  2. 2.Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental ModellingUniversity of St. Andrews, The Observatory, Buchanan GardensSt. Andrews, FifeScotland

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