Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 63 (No. 1), pp. 27-34, 2007
Hidetomo Shimauchi and Shin-ichi Uye*
Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University, Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8528, Japan
(Received 22 May 2006; in revised form 21 August 2006; accepted 21 August 2006)
Abstract: We measured the ammonium excretion, phosphate excretion and respiration rates of the scyphomedusa Aurelia aurita from Ondo Strait, in the central part of the Inland Sea of Japan, at 28 and 20°C. The rates measured at 28°C were converted to those at 20°C using the Q10 values, i.e. 1.56, 1.57 and 2.80, for ammonium excretion, phosphate excretion and respiration rates, respectively. The composite relationships between metabolic rates and wet weight of a medusa (WW, g, range 11-1330 g) at 20°C were expressed by the following allometric equations. For ammonium excretion rate (N, μmoles N medusa-1d-1): N = 0.497WW1.09, phosphate excretion rate (P, μmoles P medusa-1d-1): P = 0.453WW0.84, and respiration rate (R, μmoles O2 medusa-1d-1): R = 96.9WW1.06. Mean O:N ratios (i.e. atomic ratios of 16.9 and 11.0 at 28 and 20°C, respectively) indicated that the metabolism of A. aurita medusae was protein-dominated. These metabolic parameters enabled us to estimate the nitrogen and phosphorus regeneration rates of an A. aurita medusa population typical of early summer in the Ondo Strait (means of water temperature, medusa individual weight and population biomass: 20°C, 200 g WW and 50.8 g WW m-3, respectively). Regenerated nitrogen and phosphorus were equivalent to 10.0 and 21.6% of phytoplankton uptake rates, respectively, nearly twice that estimated for mesozooplankton, demonstrating that A. aurita medusae are key components of the plankton community, influencing the trophic and nutrient dynamics in the Ondo Strait during early summer.