Solving an old puzzle by dismissing new pieces? Moving beyond scientific traditions to understand the life cycle of scyphozoan jellyfish: Reply to Morandini et al. (2016)

Janja Ceh, Aldo S. Pacheco, José M. Riascos

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2017 Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami. In a recent comment, Morandini and colleagues raised concerns about our article, "The elusive life cycle of scyphozoan jellyfish - metagenesis revisited." The main goal of our article was to motivate jellyfish scientists to pursue an improved understanding of bloom-forming jellyfish through critical examination of the current jellyfish life cycle model, and not to overthrow a long-standing paradigm. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas S. Kuhn, describes that for well-integrated members of a particular discipline, a paradigm in science might be so conclusive that even considering alternatives appears unconvincing and counter-intuitive. Because resistance might hinder progress within a discipline, we believe that paradigms should neither be challenged, nor defended, but constantly re-evaluated when new evidence appears. Following our original goal to move the field of jellyfish research forward, we are hoping to clear Morandini et al.'s concerns: (1) all points of criticism are addressed; and (2) we discuss why jellyfish ecologists ought to consider the current paradigm as a starting point, and not as the dead end, of our understanding of scyphozoan life cycles. (1) A Brief Synopsis of "The Elusive Life Cycle of Scyphozoan Jellyfish - Metagenesis Revisited" (Ceh et al. 2015) In a population dynamics study on the jellyfish Chrysaora plocamia (Lesson, 1830), we stumbled upon life cycle traits that were difficult to interpret within the long-standing metagenetic life cycle (MLC) model. As a consequence, we reviewed reports, dating back as far as the model itself, and encountered a striking number of studies describing life cycle traits that are not included in the current paradigm. Even though such variations may have considerable demographic consequences for jellyfish populations, they have neither been integrated in the life cycle model nor in today's jellyfish discussion. To address this deficit, we intended to (1) provide a comprehensive picture of all known life cycle traits to date and add these to the current.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)857-862
Number of pages6
JournalBulletin of Marine Science
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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