Top-Down Impacts of Sea Nettles (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) on Pelagic Community Structure in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Paul Bologna, John Gaynor, Christie L. Barry, Dena J. Restaino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coastal communities are substantially affected by human activities and create environments conducive to opportunistic species and structural changes in food webs. The Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States is highly urbanized with significant landscape modification and elevated pollutant loads. The appearance and development of resident populations of the Atlantic sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey demonstrates a successful establishment to this estuary. This research indicates that two species of gelatinous zooplankton (Mnemiopsis leidyi, C. quinquecirrha) play important structuring roles in the pelagic community. Specifically, M. leidyi exerts significant top-down control of calanoid copepods, cladocerans, fish eggs, and fish larvae, whereas C. quinquecirrha's impact is felt through control of M. leidyi, whose density is two orders of magnitude greater. It was expected that if C. quinquecirrha exerted top-down control of M. leidyi, then a trophic cascade would result. However, no trophic cascade was observed, as C. quinquecirrha demonstrated broad control of pelagic community structure as a nonspecific, generalist predator. Consequently, the strength of M. leidyi's ability to exert predation pressure is mediated by the development of the C. quinquecirrha bloom, but pelagic community structure is broadly defined by the combined impact of these predators within the system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Volume78
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017

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trophic cascade
top-down control
community structure
predator
resident population
fish
generalist
structural change
food web
zooplankton
algal bloom
human activity
predation
estuary
egg
larva
coast
sea
pollutant load

Keywords

  • Jellyfish
  • Mnemiopsis
  • Scyphozoa
  • ctenophores

Cite this

@article{5210df71436e4c3a9cd71e26da41163a,
title = "Top-Down Impacts of Sea Nettles (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) on Pelagic Community Structure in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, U.S.A.",
abstract = "Coastal communities are substantially affected by human activities and create environments conducive to opportunistic species and structural changes in food webs. The Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States is highly urbanized with significant landscape modification and elevated pollutant loads. The appearance and development of resident populations of the Atlantic sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey demonstrates a successful establishment to this estuary. This research indicates that two species of gelatinous zooplankton (Mnemiopsis leidyi, C. quinquecirrha) play important structuring roles in the pelagic community. Specifically, M. leidyi exerts significant top-down control of calanoid copepods, cladocerans, fish eggs, and fish larvae, whereas C. quinquecirrha's impact is felt through control of M. leidyi, whose density is two orders of magnitude greater. It was expected that if C. quinquecirrha exerted top-down control of M. leidyi, then a trophic cascade would result. However, no trophic cascade was observed, as C. quinquecirrha demonstrated broad control of pelagic community structure as a nonspecific, generalist predator. Consequently, the strength of M. leidyi's ability to exert predation pressure is mediated by the development of the C. quinquecirrha bloom, but pelagic community structure is broadly defined by the combined impact of these predators within the system.",
keywords = "Jellyfish, Mnemiopsis, Scyphozoa, ctenophores",
author = "Paul Bologna and John Gaynor and Barry, {Christie L.} and Restaino, {Dena J.}",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.2112/SI78-015.1",
language = "English",
volume = "78",
pages = "193--204",
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}

Top-Down Impacts of Sea Nettles (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) on Pelagic Community Structure in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, U.S.A. / Bologna, Paul; Gaynor, John; Barry, Christie L.; Restaino, Dena J.

In: Journal of Coastal Research, Vol. 78, 01.09.2017, p. 193-204.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Top-Down Impacts of Sea Nettles (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) on Pelagic Community Structure in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, U.S.A.

AU - Bologna, Paul

AU - Gaynor, John

AU - Barry, Christie L.

AU - Restaino, Dena J.

PY - 2017/9/1

Y1 - 2017/9/1

N2 - Coastal communities are substantially affected by human activities and create environments conducive to opportunistic species and structural changes in food webs. The Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States is highly urbanized with significant landscape modification and elevated pollutant loads. The appearance and development of resident populations of the Atlantic sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey demonstrates a successful establishment to this estuary. This research indicates that two species of gelatinous zooplankton (Mnemiopsis leidyi, C. quinquecirrha) play important structuring roles in the pelagic community. Specifically, M. leidyi exerts significant top-down control of calanoid copepods, cladocerans, fish eggs, and fish larvae, whereas C. quinquecirrha's impact is felt through control of M. leidyi, whose density is two orders of magnitude greater. It was expected that if C. quinquecirrha exerted top-down control of M. leidyi, then a trophic cascade would result. However, no trophic cascade was observed, as C. quinquecirrha demonstrated broad control of pelagic community structure as a nonspecific, generalist predator. Consequently, the strength of M. leidyi's ability to exert predation pressure is mediated by the development of the C. quinquecirrha bloom, but pelagic community structure is broadly defined by the combined impact of these predators within the system.

AB - Coastal communities are substantially affected by human activities and create environments conducive to opportunistic species and structural changes in food webs. The Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States is highly urbanized with significant landscape modification and elevated pollutant loads. The appearance and development of resident populations of the Atlantic sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey demonstrates a successful establishment to this estuary. This research indicates that two species of gelatinous zooplankton (Mnemiopsis leidyi, C. quinquecirrha) play important structuring roles in the pelagic community. Specifically, M. leidyi exerts significant top-down control of calanoid copepods, cladocerans, fish eggs, and fish larvae, whereas C. quinquecirrha's impact is felt through control of M. leidyi, whose density is two orders of magnitude greater. It was expected that if C. quinquecirrha exerted top-down control of M. leidyi, then a trophic cascade would result. However, no trophic cascade was observed, as C. quinquecirrha demonstrated broad control of pelagic community structure as a nonspecific, generalist predator. Consequently, the strength of M. leidyi's ability to exert predation pressure is mediated by the development of the C. quinquecirrha bloom, but pelagic community structure is broadly defined by the combined impact of these predators within the system.

KW - Jellyfish

KW - Mnemiopsis

KW - Scyphozoa

KW - ctenophores

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U2 - 10.2112/SI78-015.1

DO - 10.2112/SI78-015.1

M3 - Article

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SP - 193

EP - 204

JO - Journal of Coastal Research

JF - Journal of Coastal Research

SN - 0749-0208

ER -