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The role of hyperiid parasites as a trophic link between jellyfish and fishes

Authors

  • J. M. Riascos,

    Corresponding author
    1. Universidad de Antofagasta, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, Climate Change Ecology Research Group, CENSOR laboratory, Avenida Universidad de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta, Chile
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  • M. Vergara,

    1. Universidad de Antofagasta, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, Climate Change Ecology Research Group, CENSOR laboratory, Avenida Universidad de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta, Chile
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  • J. Fajardo,

    1. Universidad de Antofagasta, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, Climate Change Ecology Research Group, CENSOR laboratory, Avenida Universidad de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta, Chile
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  • V. Villegas,

    1. Universidad de Antofagasta, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, Climate Change Ecology Research Group, CENSOR laboratory, Avenida Universidad de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta, Chile
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  • A. S. Pacheco

    1. Universidad de Antofagasta, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, Climate Change Ecology Research Group, CENSOR laboratory, Avenida Universidad de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta, Chile
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Tel.: +56 55 637529; email: jriascos@uantof.cl

Abstract

The trophic interactions between the scyphozoan medusa Chrysaora plocamia and the palm ruff Seriolella violacea were investigated off northern Chile and showed that large numbers of hyperiid amphipods parasitizing the medusa may channel energy back to the fishes, which feed on the parasites. The biomass of hyperiids eaten by the fish was a function of the biomass of hyperiids parasitizing the medusa. This temporally available food supply may enhance fish recruitment. The large number of hyperiids parasitizing diverse jellyfish species represents a missing trophic link in current efforts to understand the effects of jellyfish blooms on marine food webs.

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