Food and feeding of Aurelia aurita in Tokyo Bay with an analysis of stomach contents and a measurement of digestion times
In situ seasonal variations in stomach contents of Aurelia aurita (L.) in Tokyo Bay, Japan, were analyzed. Copepods, such as Oithona davisae Ferrari & Orsi were the predominant food items of A. aurita from June to November. The mean digestion time measured in incubation experiments was 0.95 h. Daily rations calculated using stomach content data and digestion times were 2.2–21.8 mg C ind−1 corresponding to 0.58–5.56% of body carbon. The ingestion rate increased significantly with an increase in medusa size, although no significant relationship was found between medusa size and carbon specific daily ration. The zooplankton community in Tokyo Bay is characterized by the significant dominance of O. davisae and it is assumed that the prosperity of A. aurita is caused by the high abundance of the O. davisae population. It is suggested that a food chain comprised of microflagellates, cyclopoid copepods O. davisae, and A. aurita is the most significant one in Tokyo Bay and only a small portion of production is transferred to fish.
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