Model-to-data comparisons reveal influence of jellyfish interactions on plankton community dynamics

Kevin P. Crum, Heidi L. Fuchs, Paul Bologna, John Gaynor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Taxonomic shifts can alter predator feeding preference and modify ecosystem dynamics through top-down control. In Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary (New Jersey, USA), sea nettle Chrysaora quinquecirrha abundances have increased in the northern portions of the estuary. We evaluated the geographical variation in top-down influence of C. quinquecirrha on plankton community dynamics. We simulated a range of jellyfish- to copepod-dominated ecosystems using a size-resolved nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) model. Zooplankton feeding was parameterized as a community average based on predator-prey size ratios and breadth of prey sizes of dominant species. We compared model outputs to data collected in the estuary during 2 summer months of high C. quinquecirrha abundance. We predicted that data from the northern region would be more similar to the jellyfish-dominated model outputs, because C. quinquecirrha abundance is higher in the north. Contrary to expectations, all northern sites had observational data more similar to the copepod-dominated model outputs, and the site that was most similar to the jellyfish-dominated model outputs was in the C. quinquecirrha-free southern region. These results may indicate complex interactions between C. quinquecirrha and the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, a voracious copepod predator that is nearly absent in the northern region despite having wide environmental tolerances. Predation by C. quinquecirrha may limit the distribution of M. leidyi and indirectly strengthen copepod dominance in the northern region of the estuary. These results suggest that top-down control by jellyfish can be strongly influenced by competition among gelatinous taxa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume517
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2014

Fingerprint

jellyfish
Scyphozoa
community dynamics
plankton
Copepoda
estuaries
estuary
Mnemiopsis leidyi
top-down control
prey size
predator
predators
zooplankton
Ctenophora
harbors (waterways)
ecosystem dynamics
ecosystems
feeding preferences
geographical variation
harbor

Keywords

  • Atlantic sea nettle
  • Chrysaora quinquecirrha
  • Copepod
  • Ctenophore
  • Mnemiopsis leidyi
  • Prey size preference
  • Size-structured model
  • Top-down control
  • Zooplankton

Cite this

@article{9e56ea04c1ff4aed8b352eba2dda8777,
title = "Model-to-data comparisons reveal influence of jellyfish interactions on plankton community dynamics",
abstract = "Taxonomic shifts can alter predator feeding preference and modify ecosystem dynamics through top-down control. In Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary (New Jersey, USA), sea nettle Chrysaora quinquecirrha abundances have increased in the northern portions of the estuary. We evaluated the geographical variation in top-down influence of C. quinquecirrha on plankton community dynamics. We simulated a range of jellyfish- to copepod-dominated ecosystems using a size-resolved nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) model. Zooplankton feeding was parameterized as a community average based on predator-prey size ratios and breadth of prey sizes of dominant species. We compared model outputs to data collected in the estuary during 2 summer months of high C. quinquecirrha abundance. We predicted that data from the northern region would be more similar to the jellyfish-dominated model outputs, because C. quinquecirrha abundance is higher in the north. Contrary to expectations, all northern sites had observational data more similar to the copepod-dominated model outputs, and the site that was most similar to the jellyfish-dominated model outputs was in the C. quinquecirrha-free southern region. These results may indicate complex interactions between C. quinquecirrha and the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, a voracious copepod predator that is nearly absent in the northern region despite having wide environmental tolerances. Predation by C. quinquecirrha may limit the distribution of M. leidyi and indirectly strengthen copepod dominance in the northern region of the estuary. These results suggest that top-down control by jellyfish can be strongly influenced by competition among gelatinous taxa.",
keywords = "Atlantic sea nettle, Chrysaora quinquecirrha, Copepod, Ctenophore, Mnemiopsis leidyi, Prey size preference, Size-structured model, Top-down control, Zooplankton",
author = "Crum, {Kevin P.} and Fuchs, {Heidi L.} and Paul Bologna and John Gaynor",
year = "2014",
month = "12",
day = "15",
doi = "10.3354/meps11022",
language = "English",
volume = "517",
pages = "105--119",
journal = "Marine Ecology Progress Series",
issn = "0171-8630",
publisher = "Inter-Research",

}

Model-to-data comparisons reveal influence of jellyfish interactions on plankton community dynamics. / Crum, Kevin P.; Fuchs, Heidi L.; Bologna, Paul; Gaynor, John.

In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 517, 15.12.2014, p. 105-119.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Model-to-data comparisons reveal influence of jellyfish interactions on plankton community dynamics

AU - Crum, Kevin P.

AU - Fuchs, Heidi L.

AU - Bologna, Paul

AU - Gaynor, John

PY - 2014/12/15

Y1 - 2014/12/15

N2 - Taxonomic shifts can alter predator feeding preference and modify ecosystem dynamics through top-down control. In Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary (New Jersey, USA), sea nettle Chrysaora quinquecirrha abundances have increased in the northern portions of the estuary. We evaluated the geographical variation in top-down influence of C. quinquecirrha on plankton community dynamics. We simulated a range of jellyfish- to copepod-dominated ecosystems using a size-resolved nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) model. Zooplankton feeding was parameterized as a community average based on predator-prey size ratios and breadth of prey sizes of dominant species. We compared model outputs to data collected in the estuary during 2 summer months of high C. quinquecirrha abundance. We predicted that data from the northern region would be more similar to the jellyfish-dominated model outputs, because C. quinquecirrha abundance is higher in the north. Contrary to expectations, all northern sites had observational data more similar to the copepod-dominated model outputs, and the site that was most similar to the jellyfish-dominated model outputs was in the C. quinquecirrha-free southern region. These results may indicate complex interactions between C. quinquecirrha and the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, a voracious copepod predator that is nearly absent in the northern region despite having wide environmental tolerances. Predation by C. quinquecirrha may limit the distribution of M. leidyi and indirectly strengthen copepod dominance in the northern region of the estuary. These results suggest that top-down control by jellyfish can be strongly influenced by competition among gelatinous taxa.

AB - Taxonomic shifts can alter predator feeding preference and modify ecosystem dynamics through top-down control. In Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary (New Jersey, USA), sea nettle Chrysaora quinquecirrha abundances have increased in the northern portions of the estuary. We evaluated the geographical variation in top-down influence of C. quinquecirrha on plankton community dynamics. We simulated a range of jellyfish- to copepod-dominated ecosystems using a size-resolved nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) model. Zooplankton feeding was parameterized as a community average based on predator-prey size ratios and breadth of prey sizes of dominant species. We compared model outputs to data collected in the estuary during 2 summer months of high C. quinquecirrha abundance. We predicted that data from the northern region would be more similar to the jellyfish-dominated model outputs, because C. quinquecirrha abundance is higher in the north. Contrary to expectations, all northern sites had observational data more similar to the copepod-dominated model outputs, and the site that was most similar to the jellyfish-dominated model outputs was in the C. quinquecirrha-free southern region. These results may indicate complex interactions between C. quinquecirrha and the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, a voracious copepod predator that is nearly absent in the northern region despite having wide environmental tolerances. Predation by C. quinquecirrha may limit the distribution of M. leidyi and indirectly strengthen copepod dominance in the northern region of the estuary. These results suggest that top-down control by jellyfish can be strongly influenced by competition among gelatinous taxa.

KW - Atlantic sea nettle

KW - Chrysaora quinquecirrha

KW - Copepod

KW - Ctenophore

KW - Mnemiopsis leidyi

KW - Prey size preference

KW - Size-structured model

KW - Top-down control

KW - Zooplankton

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84919452057&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3354/meps11022

DO - 10.3354/meps11022

M3 - Article

VL - 517

SP - 105

EP - 119

JO - Marine Ecology Progress Series

JF - Marine Ecology Progress Series

SN - 0171-8630

ER -