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dc.contributor.authorLoveridge, A
dc.contributor.authorPitt, KA
dc.contributor.authorLucas, CH
dc.contributor.authorWarnken, J
dc.description.abstractModifications to estuaries through the construction of barrages alter the natural dynamics of inhabitant species by controlling freshwater inputs into those systems. To understand the effects of modified freshwater flows on a native scyphozoan jellyfish, Catostylus mosaicus, and to identify the environmental drivers of medusa occurrence, we analysed a 20-year observational dataset composed of 11 environmental variables and medusa presence/absence from 15 sampling stations located below the Fitzroy Barrage, in the Fitzroy River, Queensland. Major decreases in salinity (minimum salinity 0) occurred approximately 16 times during the 20-year period and medusae disappeared from the estuary following every major freshwater flow event. Salinity was identified as the most influential variable contributing to variation in the number of upper estuary sites reporting jellyfish. We then ran two laboratory experiments to test the following hypotheses: (i) prolonged decreases in salinity impair survival, pulsation, and respiration rates of C. mosaicus medusae; and (ii) transient decreases temporarily impair pulsation and respiration but medusae recover when salinity returns to normal levels. Medusae were unable to survive extended periods at extreme low salinities, such that they would experience when a barrage opens fully, but had significantly higher survival and recovery rates following smaller, transient changes to salinity that might occur following a moderate rainfall event. This demonstrates for the first time that modification of freshwater flow by a barrage regulates the population dynamics of an estuarine jellyfish, and highlights the need for robust, long term datasets, and to firmly embed experimental approaches in realistic ecological contexts.
dc.publisherElsevier BV
dc.relation.ispartofjournalMarine Environmental Research
dc.subject.fieldofresearchBiological Oceanography
dc.subject.fieldofresearchChemical Sciences
dc.subject.fieldofresearchEnvironmental Sciences
dc.subject.fieldofresearchBiological Sciences
dc.titleExtreme changes in salinity drive population dynamics of Catostylus mosaicus medusae in a modified estuary
dc.typeJournal article
dc.type.descriptionC1 - Articles
dcterms.bibliographicCitationLoveridge, A; Pitt, KA; Lucas, CH; Warnken, J, Extreme changes in salinity drive population dynamics of Catostylus mosaicus medusae in a modified estuary, Marine Environmental Research, 2021, 168, pp. 105306
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorPitt, Kylie A.
gro.griffith.authorWarnken, Jan

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