Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Barbara Byrne, University of Michigan

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Project Title: 

Temperature and High Salinity: Effects on polyp survival and reproduction; also ephyrae survival and behavior


The anomalous distribution of the stinging sea nettle, chrysaora quinquecirrha, in the Chesapeake Bay is of interest due to this scyphozoan's role in the structuring of plankton communities and its pesky abundance. Lower salinities and temperatures have been shown to affect its distribution. To test the possible effects of higher salinity and temperature on distribution, reproductive capabilities of sea nettle polyps, as well as the survival and behavior of ephyrae were measured at various combinations of salinity (20-35 ppt) and temperature (​15°C-25°C). Results showed polyp production to be unaffected by salinities or temperatures tested. Ephyrae production was significantly influenced by these factors; increasing with higher temperature and decreasing with higher salinity.