Kolesar, S. E. Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, kolesar@acnatsci.org
Breitburg, D. E. The Academy of Natural Sciences Estuarine Research Center, breit@acnatsci.org
Rose, K. A. Louisiana State University, karose@lsu.edu
Cowan Jr., J. H. University of South Alabama, jcowan@jaguar1.usouthal.edu

 
THE INFLUENCE OF HYPOXIA ON THE CTENOPHORE MNEMIOPSIS LEIDYI: BEHAVIOR AND PREDATION ON GOBISOMA BOSC LARVAE
 
Low oxygen in aquatic ecosystems can limit the three-dimensional space available to organisms, altering encounter rates and predator-prey interactions. The lobate ctenophore, Mnemiopsis leidyi, is an important predator on early life-stages of fish in Chesapeake Bay because it temporally coincides with spawning activities. However, spatial and temporal variation in the oxygen structure of the water column may influence the impact of ctenophore predation on fish populations. Predicting the probability of an encounter between predator and prey is an important step in forcasting the level of predation pressure than can be expected on the early developmental stages of fish. Using field distributions of ctenophores, and fish eggs and larvae at various low oxygen concentrations, as well as laboratory estimates of swimming speed, I ran an individual-based simulation model describing the interactions of these two species. I also performed laboratory mesocosm predation experiments at different oxygen concentrations to ascertain ctenophore predation rate on naked goby larvae, Gobisoma bosc. Laboratory observations helped to elucidate the specifics of ctenophore behavior and predation on fish larvae. My goal was to determine how low oxygen could influence the effect of gelatinous predators on fish populations.
 
Day: Wednesday, Feb. 3
Time: Poster
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS21WE1053S