Ecological characteristics of the Mljet Islands seawater lakes (South Adriatic Sea) with special reference to their resident populations of medusae
Keywords:seawater lake, stratification, medusae, Tima, Aurelia, South Adriatic
Ecological properties and distribution and abundance of medusae were studied over an 18-month period in the Mljet Island seawater lakes, south-east Croatia. Strong stratification during the summer differentiates these lakes from the oligotrophic South Adriatic ecosystem. The lakes are designated as a moderately eutrophicated ecosystem. Very small numbers of hydromedusae were noted, representing only the Anthomedusae and Leptomedusae. A new species of the genus Tima was found in considerable numbers of individuals. High abundance of the scyphomedusa Aurelia sp. was observed throughout the year. This species differs in terms of genetic divergence from Aurelia aurita found elsewhere in the Mediterranean and could be attributed to the boreal origin.
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