Hide/Show Apps

Population dynamics, ingestion, growth and reproduction rates of the invader Beroe ovata and its impact on plankton community in Sevastopol Bay, the Black Sea

Finenko, GA
Romanova, ZA
Abolmasova, GI
Anninsky, BE
Svetlichny, LS
Hubareva, ES
Bat, L
Kıdeyş, Ahmet Erkan
The impact of the introduced ctenophore Beroe ovata on its prey Mnemiopsis leidyi, another invader ctenophore voraciously feeding on mesozooplankton, and consequently on the mesozooplankton community, was evaluated by undertaking both laboratory and field studies in the northern Black Sea. Ingestion and growth rates as well as the gross growth efficiency of B. ovata were estimated from laboratory experiments. The daily ration of ctenophores was related to food abundance within a wide range of prey concentration and never reached saturation. Beroe ovata required high food rations (not less than 20% of body weight per day) for growth. The abundances, biomasses and population structures of these two introduced ctenophore species were also monitored, along with mesozooplankton, in inshore waters of the northern Black Sea (i.e. Sevastopol Bay and adjacent regions) over a period of 3 years (1999-2001) which is after B. ovata's arrival. The annual dynamics of the M. leidyi population were similar for the last 3 years: very low abundances and biomass values were observed during most of the year (unlike the previous years), with a sudden increase in summer-early autumn, but only for about a 2 month period. The B. ovata bloom during the peak M. leidyi biomass resulted in the M. leidyi biomass falling sharply to extremely low values. The predatory impact of M. leidyi on prey zooplanton was found to be reduced during the period of study compared with before.