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Article

Scyphomedusae and Ctenophora of the Eastern Adriatic: Historical Overview and New Data

1
Institute of Marine Biology, University of Montenegro, 85330 Kotor, Montenegro
2
Institute for Marine and Coastal Research, University of Dubrovnik, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
3
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, 21000 Split, Croatia
4
National Institute of Biology, Marine Biology Station Piran, Fornače 43, 6330 Piran, Slovenia
5
Independent Researcher, Strunjan 125, 6320 Portorož, Slovenia
6
Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Pula, 52100 Pula, Croatia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Wink
Diversity 2021, 13(5), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050186
Received: 28 February 2021 / Revised: 19 April 2021 / Accepted: 26 April 2021 / Published: 28 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Patterns and Ecology of Jellyfish in Marine Environment)
One of the obstacles to detecting regional trends in jellyfish populations is the lack of a defined baseline. In the Adriatic Sea, the jellyfish fauna (Scyphozoa and Ctenophora) is poorly studied compared to other taxa. Therefore, our goal was to collect and systematize all available data and provide a baseline for future studies. Here we present phenological data and relative abundances of jellyfish based on 2010–2019 scientific surveys and a “citizen science” sighting program along the eastern Adriatic. Inter-annual variability, seasonality and spatial distribution patterns of Scyphomedusae and Ctenophore species were described and compared with existing historical literature. Mass occurrences with a clear seasonal pattern and related to the geographical location were observed for meroplanktonic Scyphomedusae Aurelia solida, Rhizostoma pulmo, and to a lesser extent Chrysaora hysoscella, Cotylorhiza tuberculata and Discomedusa lobata. Holoplanktonic Pelagia noctiluca also formed large aggregations, which were seasonally less predictable and restricted to the central and southern Adriatic. Four species of Ctenophora produced blooms limited to a few areas: Bolinopsis vitrea, Leucothea multicornis, Cestum veneris and the non-native Mnemiopsis leidyi. However, differences between Adriatic subregions have become less pronounced since 2014. Our results suggest that gelatinous organisms are assuming an increasingly important role in the Adriatic ecosystem, which may alter the balance of the food web and lead to harmful and undesirable effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: jellyfish phenology; gelatinous organisms; blooms; inter-annual variability; long-term changes; Mediterranean Sea jellyfish phenology; gelatinous organisms; blooms; inter-annual variability; long-term changes; Mediterranean Sea
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pestorić, B.; Lučić, D.; Bojanić, N.; Vodopivec, M.; Kogovšek, T.; Violić, I.; Paliaga, P.; Malej, A. Scyphomedusae and Ctenophora of the Eastern Adriatic: Historical Overview and New Data. Diversity 2021, 13, 186. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050186

AMA Style

Pestorić B, Lučić D, Bojanić N, Vodopivec M, Kogovšek T, Violić I, Paliaga P, Malej A. Scyphomedusae and Ctenophora of the Eastern Adriatic: Historical Overview and New Data. Diversity. 2021; 13(5):186. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050186

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pestorić, Branka, Davor Lučić, Natalia Bojanić, Martin Vodopivec, Tjaša Kogovšek, Ivana Violić, Paolo Paliaga, and Alenka Malej. 2021. "Scyphomedusae and Ctenophora of the Eastern Adriatic: Historical Overview and New Data" Diversity 13, no. 5: 186. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050186

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