Predator-induced vertical behavior of a ctenophore
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Although many studies have focused on Mnemiopsis leidyi predation, little is known about the role of this ctenophore as prey when abundant in native and invaded pelagic systems. We examined the response of the ctenophore M. leidyi to the predatory ctenophore Beroe ovata in an experiment in which the two species could potentially sense each other while being physically separated. On average, M. leidyi responded to the predator’s presence by increasing variability in swimming speeds and by lowering their vertical distribution. Such behavior may help explain field records of vertical migration, as well as stratified and near-bottom distributions of M. leidyi.