Marine Biology

, Volume 162, Issue 8, pp 1665–1672 | Cite as

Density-dependent effects control the reproductive strategy and population growth of Aureliaaurita s.l. scyphistomae

  • Agustin SchiaritiEmail author
  • Valentina Melica
  • Tjaša Kogovšek
  • Alenka Malej
Original Paper


Aureliaaurita s.l. scyphistomae are capable of developing different asexual modes for propagation and thus present a multi-mode reproductive strategy. The reproduction rates and the reproductive strategy they adopt depend on a combination of various environmental parameters. We investigated the A.aurita s.l. polyp-to-polyp reproduction strategy and population growth in relation to polyp density. Our results confirmed that density-dependent factors control population growth of A. aurita s.l. scyphistomae in three different ways: (1) decreasing the polyp reproduction rate, (2) triggering the production of motile bud-like tissue particles and (3) inducing the detachment of developed scyphistomae. Whereas the decrease in the reproduction rate reduces the number of recruits, the motile particles and the detachment of scyphistomae contribute to minimizing density-dependent effects by allowing reproductive products and scyphistomae to drift away. Thus, not only are the negative effects of intraspecific competition for space and food diminished but also the potential colonization of new substrates, and further increase in scyphistoma density is favoured on larger spatial scales. The potential capability to switch its polyp-to-polyp reproduction strategy in response to environmental clues and population density may give Aurelia high adaptability in the temperate coastal waters where they commonly live and where they may be exposed to wide-ranging and fluctuating environmental variables that affect their survival and longevity. Considering these features, as well as the wide tolerance of Aurelia scyphistomae (and medusae) to environmental parameters, it is not surprising that the species/lineages of Aurelia are cosmopolitan and exhibit the most frequent bloom events worldwide.


Reproductive Strategy Reproduction Rate Reproduction Strategy Reproductive Product Moon Jellyfish 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was partially funded by Grants CONICET PIP 2013 00615 and PICT 2013-1713 (Argentina), and Bilateral Collaboration Project Argentina (MINCyT)—Slovenia (Slovenian Research Agency) (SLO 1106) and EU FP7 PERSEUS project. We thank the Associate Editor and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments which greatly improved the quality of this manuscript. This is INIDEP Contribution No. 1938.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agustin Schiariti
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Valentina Melica
    • 3
  • Tjaša Kogovšek
    • 4
    • 5
  • Alenka Malej
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP)Mar del PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICETUniversidad Nacional de Mar del PlataMar del PlataArgentina
  3. 3.Department of Life SciencesUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  4. 4.National Institute of Biology, Marine Biology Station PiranPiranSlovenia
  5. 5.Graduate School of Biosphere SciencesHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan

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