Distribution and abundance of ctenophores, and their zooplankton food in the Black Sea. I. Pleurobrachia pileus

Mutlu E., BINGEL F.

MARINE BIOLOGY, vol.135, no.4, pp.589-601, 1999 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 135 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s002270050660
  • Journal Name: MARINE BIOLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.589-601
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: No


The distribution of Pleurobrachia pileus Muller, 1776 in the Black Sea was determined using plankton samples collected above the anoxic zone (maximum of 200 m) in the winter, spring, and summer of 1991 to 1995; The summer samples were collected in 1991 to 1993 (for a previous) and are included in this paper for comparative purposes. High concentrations of P. pileus were found at the northern edges of anticyclonic eddies along the southern coastal regions. The biomass and abundance of P. pileus increased from winter through spring to a peak in summer. The highest mean wet weight during a sampling period was 250 g m(-2), while the maximum wet weight was 1429 g m(-2) P. pileus was mostly found in a layer extending from the lower parts of the thermocline down to the anoxic zone, where the temperature was <8 degrees C. The vertical distribution of P. pileus biomass had two clear maxima at night: an upper maximum at 20 to 40 m was less pronounced than the lower maximum at 90 to 120 m depth. Mean body length of P, pileus did not exceed 12 mm. Smaller individuals (9 to 10 mm length) occurred in winter. P. pileus had two length classes in early spring (March 1995) and late summer (August 1993), indicating the presence of both newly hatched and larger individuals. Overall, the stomach contents of P. pileus consisted mainly of Copepoda (90%), Cladocera (1%), Mollusca (1%), fish eggs and larvae (1%), and other taxa (7%). The preferred food of P. pileus (frequency of occurrence) was: Calamus euxinus (39%), Pseudocalanus elongatus (30%), Acartia clausi (28%), Oithona similis (2%), and Paracalanus parvus (1%). The endoparasite Hysterothylacium aduncum was commonly found in P. pileus. Abundances of Mnemiopsis leidyi and P. pileus were either negatively correlated (r = -0.5 to -0.7) or positively correlated at a low significance level (r = 0.25 to 0.3) with abundance of A. clausi in different months of the year. Aurelia aurita abundance was correlated mainly with the abundance of C. euxinus from June 1991 to March/April 1995. Over the same period the abundance of P. pileus was significantly correlated with the abundance of P. elongatus, an important prey species.