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Supplementary material from "Jellyfish on the menu: mtDNA assay reveals scyphozoan predation in the Irish Sea"

Posted on 2017-11-17 - 12:36
Localized outbreaks of jellyfish, known as blooms, cause a variety of adverse ecological and economic effects. However, fundamental aspects of their ecology remain unknown. Notably, there is scant information on the role jellyfish occupy in food webs: in many ecosystems, few or no predators are known. To identify jellyfish consumers in the Irish Sea, we conducted a molecular gut content assessment of 50 potential predators using cnidarian-specific mtDNA primers and sequencing. We show that jellyfish predation may be more common than previously acknowledged: uncovering many previously unknown jellyfish predators. A substantial proportion of herring and whiting were found to have consumed jellyfish. Rare ingestion was also detected in a variety of other species. Given the phenology of jellyfish in the region, we suggest that the predation was likely targeting juvenile stages of the jellyfish life cycle.


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Royal Society Open Science


Philip D. Lamb
Ewan Hunter
John K. Pinnegar
Simon Creer
Richard G. Davies
Martin I. Taylor


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