Laboratory incubation experiments were conducted to examine the effects of different temperatures (4, 9, 14, 19, 23°C) and salinities (21, 27, 34) on survival and asexual reproduction of scyphistomae of Cyanea capillata, C. lamarckii, Chrysaora hysoscella, and Aurelia aurita in order to better understand how climate variability may affect the timing and magnitude of jellyfish blooms. Significant mortality was observed only for C. capillata and Ch. hysoscella at the highest and lowest temperatures, respectively, but temperature and salinity significantly affected the asexual reproductive output for all species. As temperature increased, production rates of podocysts increased and, if produced, progeny scyphistomae by side budding also increased. However, strobilation rates, and therefore the mean number of ephyrae produced, decreased when scyphistomae were exposed to elevated temperatures. These results provide a mechanistic explanation for why ephyrae of these species tend to be produced during colder periods of the year whilst summer and early autumn are probably important periods for increasing the numbers of scyphistomae in natural populations.
- Life cycle