Science Serving Maryland's Coasts
Larry Sanford, Ph.D.
Horn Point Laboratory
Effects of Turbulence on Prey Capture Rates of Chrysaora quinquecirrha
Contact rates between planktonic predator and prey are a function of the relative densities and velocities of predator and prey. Recent theories have postulated that small scale turbulence increases the contact rate between the animals by increasing their relative velocities. We explored this theory using the Sea Nettle, Chrysaora quinquecirrha, as the predator and the Brine Shrimp, Artemia salina, as the prey. Sea nettles were exposed to three turbulence levels in a constant density of brine shrimp. Although the large and medium animals did not show a significant decrease, the smaller (1.5-2.7 cm bell diameter) sea nettles captured more prey in the turbulent environment.
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