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Junjian WANG, Chaolun LI, Guang YANG, Zhencheng TAO, Yanqing WANG, Haochen XIAN. Dietary preferences and potential ecological impact on the zooplankton community of Nemopilema nomurai based on stable isotope and fatty acid analyses[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2022, 40(3): 1085-1096

Dietary preferences and potential ecological impact on the zooplankton community of Nemopilema nomurai based on stable isotope and fatty acid analyses

Junjian WANG1,3,5, Chaolun LI1,2,4,5, Guang YANG1,2,4, Zhencheng TAO1,2,4, Yanqing WANG6, Haochen XIAN1,5
1 Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
2 Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology(Qingdao), Qingdao 266237, China;
3 North China Sea Marine Forecasting Center of State Oceanic Administration, Qingdao 266100, China;
4 Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
5 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
6 Department of Engineering and Technology Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
Information on the dietary composition and food preferences of the giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai is important for understanding the trophic drivers of jellyfish outbreaks and their ecological consequences. We used fatty acid (FA) and stable isotope (SI) biomarkers to analyze the diet of N. nomurai from the Yellow Sea in August 2016. N. nomurai was found at all sampling stations, with abundances ranging from 59 inds./km2 to 1 651 inds./km2. There were no significant differences between large (>80 cm in diameter) and small (20-30 cm in diameter) medusae, either in FA compositions or in SI values, which suggests that large and small jellyfish have the same food composition and similar trophic levels. Compared to other zooplanktons, the relatively high levels of C20:4n-6 in total FAs (~12%) indicates that organic detritus contributes considerably to the food composition of the jellyfish. The mixed model Stable Isotope Analysis in R (SIAR) revealed that N. nomurai tended to prey on smaller organisms (<1 000 μm in diameter) which comprised about 70% of its diet. This means the N. nomurai blooms will put high feeding pressure on the small plankton. The similar SI values and FA composition indicates that krill may share the same food resources with N. nomurai, which suggests that the jellyfish blooms may affect krill populations as a result of food competition.
Key words:    Nemopilema nomurai|fatty acid|stable isotope|dietary preferences   
Received: 2021-01-20   Revised:
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