Fecundity and early life of the deep-water jellyfish Periphylla periphylla
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonJournal of Plankton Research. 2020, 42 (1), 87-101. 10.1093/plankt/fbz076
Comparisons over 6 years of three Norwegian fjord populations of the deep-water scyphomedusa Periphylla periphylla are presented. A minor part of the population in Lurefjord is migrating to the surface during night, which benefits mating encounters by increasing abundance per unit volume and decreasing the distance between individuals. Simulations using a typical water-column density profile and Stoke’s law show that fertilized eggs released in the surface quickly reach a depth where light is insufficient for visual predators. Consequently, the distribution of the smallest juveniles was strongly skewed towards higher depths in all three fjords studied. Mature females in Sognefjord were 4–5 times less abundant than in Lurefjord and Halsafjord, but due to a larger size and strong exponential relationship between size and number of mature oocytes, the potential recruitment rate as recruits m−2 year−1 was not much different from the other two fjords. Nevertheless, the observed number of small (<1 cm) juveniles was 18–31 times higher in Sognefjord than in the other two fjords, and it is assumed that the deeper habitat (up to 1300 m) compared to the other fjords (up to 440 and 530 m) is a superior habitat for the early development of P. periphylla.