Direct evidence of an efficient energy transfer pathway from jellyfish carcasses to a commercially important deep-water species

Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 12;7(1):17455. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17557-x.


Here we provide empirical evidence of the presence of an energetic pathway between jellyfish and a commercially important invertebrate species. Evidence of scavenging on jellyfish carcasses by the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) was captured during two deployments of an underwater camera system to 250-287 m depth in Sognefjorden, western Norway. The camera system was baited with two Periphylla periphylla (Scyphozoa) carcasses to simulate the transport of jellyfish detritus to the seafloor, hereby known as jelly-falls. N. norveigus rapidly located and consumed a large proportion (>50%) of the bait. We estimate that the energy input from jelly-falls may represent a significant contribution to N. norvegicus energy demand (0.21 to 10.7 times the energy required for the population of N. norvegicus in Sognefjorden). This potentially high energetic contribution from jelly-falls highlights a possible role of gelatinous material in the support of commercial fisheries. Such an energetic pathway between jelly-falls and N. norvegicus could become more important with increases in jellyfish blooms in some regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eating / physiology
  • Food Chain*
  • Nephropidae / metabolism*
  • Norway
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Scyphozoa* / metabolism