Advertisement

Biological Invasions

, Volume 5, Issue 1–2, pp 53–69 | Cite as

Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico

  • William M. Graham
  • Daniel L. Martin
  • Darryl L. Felder
  • Vernon L. Asper
  • Harriet M. Perry
Article

Abstract

A large population of a previously unreported jellyfish occurred across the northern Gulf of Mexico (USA) from May through September of 2000. The jellyfish, identified as Phyllorhiza punctata by von Lendenfeld (1884), is not indigenous to the Gulf of Mexico or to the Atlantic Basin. Current theory states that this invasive species was introduced into the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal about 45 years ago, and several confirmed reports indicated that a cryptic population may have existed in the northern Gulf since 1993. However, mesoscale hydrographic anomalies in spring 2000 may have directly transported the population from the Caribbean Sea where populations of P. punctata have been reported previously in Puerto Rico. We undertook a rapid-response sampling program from June through September to obtain ecological information regarding P. punctata in the highly productive northern Gulf waters. Jellyfish bell diameter increased by about 50% (from an average of 32 ± 12 to 45 ± 6 cm) as animals invaded nearshore waters during July. As the summer progressed, a net westerly distribution shift followed nearshore currents to an accumulation point near the mouth of Lake Borgne, Louisiana, in the far western Mississippi Sound. In the Lake Borgne aggregation, we estimated 5.37 × 106 medusae over an area of about 150 km2. All of the medusae appeared to lack the symbiotic algae that are present in all other described populations, and therefore must have depended solely on planktivory for their nutrition. Clearance rates estimated from ambient zooplankton, gut contents and published digestion times ranged from < 1 m3 d−1 for adult copepods to over 90 m3 d−1 for fish eggs. Based on these clearance rates, the central core of this aggregation (30 km2) was being turned over at least once per day with even higher turn-over in very concentrated `super-swarms'. Clogging of shrimp nets was the greatest economic impact, and perhaps contributed to millions of dollars in economic losses. The indirect effect of predation on eggs and larvae of commercially important finfish and shellfish remained intangible in the determination of economic effects. In 2001, P. punctata has recurred along southern Louisiana and has apparently spread into the coastal and lagoonal waters of the Florida east coast.

aggregations fish eggs predation Rhizostomeae scyphomedusae zooplankton 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ari MN (1997) A Functional Biology of Scyphozoa. Chapman and Hall, New York, 316 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Carlton JT (1996) Pattern, process, and prediction in marine invasion ecology. Biological Conservation 78: 97–106Google Scholar
  3. Carlton JT and Geller JB (1993) Ecological roulette: the global transport of non-indigenous marine organisms. Science 261: 78–82Google Scholar
  4. Clarke TA and Abey GS (1998) The use of small mid-water attraction devices for investigation of the pelagic juveniles of carangid fishes in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Bulletin of Marine Science 62(3): 947–955Google Scholar
  5. Costello JH and Colin SP (1994) Morphology, fluid motion and predation by the scyphomedusa Aurelia aurita. Marine Biology 121: 327–334Google Scholar
  6. Costello JH and Colin SP (1995) Flow and feeding by swimming scyphomedusae. Marine Biology 124: 399–406Google Scholar
  7. Cowan Jr JH and Houde ED (1992) Size-dependent predation on marine fish larvae by ctenophores, scyphomedusae, and planktivorous fish. Fisheries and Oceanography 1(2): 113–126Google Scholar
  8. Cutress CE (1971) Phyllorhiza punctata in the tropical Atlantic. Proceedings of the Association of Island Marine Laboratories in the Caribbean 9: 14Google Scholar
  9. Dagg MJ (1995) Ingestion of phytoplankton by the micro-and mesozooplankton communities in a productive subtropical estuary. Journal of Plankton Research 17: 845–857Google Scholar
  10. D'Ambra I, Costello JH and Bentivegna F (2001) Flow and prey capture by the scyphomedusa Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld 1884. Hydrobiologia 451: 223–227Google Scholar
  11. da Silveira FL and Cornelius PFS (2000) New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from northeast and south Brazil. Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22: 9–18Google Scholar
  12. deLafontaine Y and Leggett WC (1988) Predation by jellyfish on larval fish: an experimental evaluation employing in situ enclosures. Canadian Journal of Fisheries Aquatic Science 45: 1173–1190Google Scholar
  13. Devaney, DM and Eldredge LG (1977) Reef and shore fauna of Hawaii. Section 1: Protozoa through Ctenophora. Bishop Museum Special Publication 64: 1–277Google Scholar
  14. Fancett MS (1988) Diet and prey selectivity of scyphomedusae from Port Phillip Bay. Australia, Marine Biology 98: 503–509Google Scholar
  15. Galil BS, Spanier E and Ferguson WW (1990) and The scyphomedusae of the Mediterranean coast of Israel, including two Lesepsian migrants new to the Mediterranean. Zoologische Medelingen 64: 95–105Google Scholar
  16. Garcia JR (1990) Population dynamics and production of Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda, Puerto Rico. Marine Ecology Progress Series 64: 243–251Google Scholar
  17. Garcia JR and Durbin E (1993) Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173: 71–93Google Scholar
  18. Graham WM (1998) First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Science 16: 28–30Google Scholar
  19. Graham WM (2001) Numerical increases and distributional shifts of Chrysaora quinquecirrha Desor and Aurelia aurita Linné (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Hydrobiologia 451: 97–111Google Scholar
  20. Graham WM and Kroutil RM (2001) Size-based prey selectivity and dietary shifts in the jellyfish, Aurelia aurita. Journal of Plankton Research 23: 67–74Google Scholar
  21. Graham WM, Pagès F and Hamner WM (2001) A physical context for gelatinous zooplankton aggregations: a review. Hydrobiologia 451: 199–212Google Scholar
  22. Heeger T, Piatkowski U and Moeller H (1992) Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88: 293–296Google Scholar
  23. Hsieh Y, Leong F and Barnes KW (1996) Inorganic constituents in fresh and processed cannonball jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris) Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 44: 3117–3119Google Scholar
  24. Ishii H and Baamstedt U (1998) Food regulation of growth and maturation in a natural population of Aurelia aurita (L.). Journal of Plankton Research 20(5): 805–816Google Scholar
  25. Ivanov VP, Kamakin AM, Ushivtzev VB, Shiganova T, Zhukova O, Aladin N, Wilson SI, Harbison GR and Dumont HJ (2000) Invasion of the Caspian Sea by the comb jellyfish Mnemiopsis leidyi (Ctenophora). Biological Invasions 2: 255–258Google Scholar
  26. Kideys AE (1994) Recent dramatic changes in the Black Sea ecosystem: the reason for the sharp decline in Turkish anchovy fisheries. Journal of Marine Systems 5: 171–181Google Scholar
  27. Kingsford MJ, Pitt KA and Gillanders BM (2000) Management of jellyfish fisheries, with special reference to the Order Rhizostomeae. Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Reviews 38: 85–156Google Scholar
  28. Kramp PL (1961) Synopsis of the medusae of the world. Journal of the Marine Biological Associations, UK 40: 1–469Google Scholar
  29. Kramp PL (1970) Zoogeographical studies on Rhizostomeae (Scyphozoa). Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening 133: 7–30Google Scholar
  30. Larson RJ (1986) Water content, organic content, and carbon and nitrogen composition of medusae from the northeast Pacific. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 99: 107–120Google Scholar
  31. Larson RJ (1991) Diet, prey selection and daily ration of Stomolophus meleagris, a filter-feeding Scyphomedusa from the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Estuarian, Coastal and Shelf Science 32: 511–525Google Scholar
  32. Larson RJ and Arneson AC (1990) Two medusae new to the coast of California: Carybdea marsupialis (Linnaeus, 1758), a cubomedusa and Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld, 1884, a Rhizostome scyphomedusa. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 89(3): 130–136Google Scholar
  33. Lucas C Hand Lawes S (1998) Sexual reproduction of the scyphomedusa Aurelia aurita in relation to temperature and variable food supply. Marine Biology 131: 629–638Google Scholar
  34. Mayer AG (1910) Medusae of the World. Vol III. The Scyphomedusae, pp 499–735. Carnegie Institution, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  35. Mianzan HW and Cornelius PFS (1999) Cubomedusae and Scyphomedusae. In: Boltovskoy D(ed) South Atlantic Zooplankton, pp 513–559. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  36. Moreira MGBS (1961) Sobre Mastigias scintillae sp. Nov. (Scyphomedusae, Rhizostomeae) das costas do Brasil. Bolm Inst Oceanography 11: 5–30Google Scholar
  37. Olesen NJ, Frandsen K and Riisgård HU (1994) Population dynamics, growth and energetics of jellyfish Aurelia aurita in a shallow fjord. Marine Ecology Progress Series 105: 9–18Google Scholar
  38. Purcell JE (1985) Predation on fish eggs and larvae by pelagic cnidarians and ctenophores. Bulletin of Marine Science 37(2): 739–755Google Scholar
  39. Purcell JE (1989) Predation on fish larvae and eggs by the hydromdeusa Aequorea victoria at a herring spawning ground in British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 46: 1415–1427Google Scholar
  40. Purcell JE (1997) Pelagic cnidarians and ctenophores as predators: selective predation, feeding rates, and effects on prey populations. Annals of the Institute of Oceanography 73(2): 125–137Google Scholar
  41. Purcell JE and Arai MN (2001) Interactions of pelagic cnidarians and ctenophores with fish: a review. Hydrobiologia 451: 27–44Google Scholar
  42. Purcell JE, Cresswell FP, Cargo DG and Kennedy VS (1991) Differential ingestion and digestion of bivalve larvae by the scyphozoan Chrysaora quinquecirrha and the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. Biological Bulletin 180: 103–111Google Scholar
  43. Purcell JE, Nemazie DA, Dorsey SE, Houde ED and Gamble JC (1994) Predation mortality of bay anchovy Anchoa mitchilli eggs and larvae due to scyphomedusae and ctenophores in Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series 114: 47–58Google Scholar
  44. Purcell JE, Shiganova TA, Decker MB and Houde ED (2001) The ctenophore Mnemiopsis in native and exotic habitats: USestuaries versus the Black Sea basin. Hydrobiologia 451: 145–176Google Scholar
  45. Rajagopal S, Nair NVK and Azariah J (1989) Some observations on the problem of jelly fish ingress in a power station cooling system at Kalpakkam, east coast of India. Mahasagar 22(4): 151–158Google Scholar
  46. Rippingale RJ and Kelly SJ (1995) Reproduction and survival of Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Rhizostomeae) in a seasonally fluctuating salinity regime in western Australian. Marine and Freshwater Research 46: 1145–1151Google Scholar
  47. Rouse GW and Pitt K (2000) Ultrastructure of the sperm of Catostylus mosaicus and Phyllorhiza punctata (Scyphozoa, Cnidaria): Implications for sperm terminology and the inference of reproductive mechanisms. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development 38: 23–34Google Scholar
  48. Ruiz GM, Carlton JT, Grosholz ED and Hines AH (1997) Global invasions of marine and estuarine habitats by non-indigenous species: mechanisms, extent, and consequences. American Zoologist 37: 621–632Google Scholar
  49. Shanks AL and Graham WM (1988) Chemical defense in a scyphomedusa. Marine Ecology Progress Series 45: 81–86Google Scholar
  50. Shiganova TA (1998) Invasion of the Black Sea by the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi and recent changes in pelagic community structure. Fisheries Oceanography 7(3/4): 305–310Google Scholar
  51. Shigonova TA and Bulgakova YV (2000) Effects of gelatinous plankton on Black Sea and Sea of Azov fish and their food resources. ICES Journal of Marine Science 57: 641–648Google Scholar
  52. Strom SL and Strom MW (1996) Microplankton growth, grazing, and community structure in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Ecology Progress Series 130: 229–240Google Scholar
  53. Stoecker DK and Govoni JJ (1984) Food selection by young larval gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) Marine Biology 80: 299–306Google Scholar
  54. Suchman CL and Sullivan BK (1988) Vulnerability of the copepod Acartia tonsa to predation by the scyphomedusa Chrysaora quinquecirrha: effect of prey size and behavior. Marine Biology 132(2): 237–245Google Scholar
  55. von Lendenfeld R (1884) Über eine Übergangsform zwischen Semostomen und Rhizostomen. Zoologischer Anzeiger 5: 380–383Google Scholar
  56. Weber M, Townsend RT and Bierce R (1992) Environmental quality in the gulf of mexico: a citizen's guide. Center for Marine Conservation, Washington, DC, 132 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • William M. Graham
    • 1
  • Daniel L. Martin
    • 1
  • Darryl L. Felder
    • 2
  • Vernon L. Asper
    • 3
  • Harriet M. Perry
    • 3
  1. 1.Dauphin Island Sea LabDauphin IslandUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of LouisianaLafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Marine Science, Gulf Coast Research LaboratoryThe University of Southern MississippiOcean SpringsUSA

Personalised recommendations