Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 11, pp 2429–2436 | Cite as

Global patterns of epipelagic gelatinous zooplankton biomass

  • M. K. S. Lilley
  • S. E. Beggs
  • T. K. Doyle
  • V. J. Hobson
  • K. H. P. Stromberg
  • G. C. HaysEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

There is concern that overfishing may lead to a proliferation of jellyfish through a process known as fishing down the food web. However, there has been no global synthesis of patterns of gelatinous zooplankton biomass (GZB), an important first step in determining any future trends. A meta-analysis of epipelagic-GZB patterns was undertaken, encompassing 58 locations on a global scale, and spanning the years 1967–2009. Epipelagic-GZB decreased strongly with increasing total water column depth (r2 = 0.543, p < 0.001, n = 58): in shallow (<50 m) coastal waters, epipelagic-GZB was typically 742× the levels in deep ocean (>2,000 m) sites. However, the ratio of GZB to primary productivity showed high values across a range of depths, i.e. this measure of the relative abundance of gelatinous zooplankton did not co-vary with depth.

Keywords

Biomass Ballast Water Gelatinous Zooplankton Bell Diameter Epipelagic Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is part of EcoJel a project funded by the Interreg 4a Ireland–Wales programme, which forms part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); Natural Environment Research Council (NERC); and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Author contributions: GCH designed the study. MKSL compiled and analysed the global gelatinous zooplankton data set. GCH and MKSL wrote the paper with contributions from all authors. We wish to thank F. Lombard for advice on the weighted regression. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

227_2011_1744_MOESM1_ESM.doc (150 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 149 kb)

References

  1. Angel MV, Pugh PR (2000) Quantification of diel vertical migration by micronektonic taxa in the northeast Atlantic. Hydrobiologia 440:161–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barz K, Hirche HJ (2007) Abundance, distribution and prey composition of scyphomedusae in the southern North Sea. Mar Biol 151(3):1021–1033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boero F, Bouillon J, Gravili C, Miglietta MP, Parsons T, Piraino S (2008) Gelatinous plankton: irregularities rule the world (sometimes). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 356:299–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brodeur RD, Mills CE, Overland JE, Walters GE, Schumacher JD (1999) Evidence for a substantial increase in gelatinous zooplankton in the Bering Sea, with possible links to climate change. Fish Oceanogr 8(4):296–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brodeur RD, Decker MB, Ciannelli L, Purcell JE, Bond NA, Stabeno PJ, Acuna E, Hunt GL (2008) Rise and fall of jellyfish in the eastern Bering Sea in relation to climate regime shifts. Prog Oceangr 77:103–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cargo DG, King DR (1990) Forecasting the abundance of the sea nettle, Chrysaora quinquecirrha, in the Chesapeake Bay. Estuaries 13(4):486–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Daskalov GM, Grishin AN, Rodionov S, Mihneva V (2007) Trophic cascades triggered by overfishing reveal possible mechanisms of ecosystem regime shifts. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104(25):10518–10523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dawson MN, Gupta AS, England MH (2005) Coupled biophysical global ocean model and molecular genetic analyses identify multiple introductions of cryptogenic species. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102(34):11968–11973CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Essington TE, Beaudreau AH, Wiedenmann J (2006) Fishing through marine food webs. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103(9):3171–3175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Graham WM, Martin DL, Felder DL, Asper VL, Perry HM (2003) Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biol Invasions 5(1):53–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Haddock SHD (2004) A golden age of gelata: past and future research on planktonic ctenophores and cnidarians. Hydrobiologia 530(1):549–556Google Scholar
  12. Halpern BS, Walbridge S, Selkoe KA, Kappel CV, Micheli F, D’Agrosa C, Bruno JF, Casey KS, Ebert C, Fox HE (2008) A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science 319(5865):948–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hamner WM, Dawson MN (2009) A review and synthesis on the systematics and evolution of jellyfish blooms: advantageous aggregations and adaptive assemblages. Hydrobiologia 616(1):161–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Han CH, Uye SI (2009) Quantification of the abundance and distribution of the common jellyfish Aurelia aurita s.l. with a Dual-frequency IDentification SONar (DIDSON). J Plankton Res 31(8):805–814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harris R, Wiebe P, Lenz J, Skjoldal HR, Huntley M (2000) ICES zooplankton methodology manual. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  16. Hay S (2006) Marine ecology: gelatinous bells may ring change in marine ecosystems. Curr Biol 16(17):R679–R682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hay SJ, Hislop JRG, Shanks AM (1990) North Sea Scyphomedusae—summer distribution, estimated biomass and significance particularly for O-group Gadoid fish. Neth J Sea Res 25(1–2):113–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Houghton JDR, Doyle TK, Wilson MW, Davenport J, Hays GC (2006) Jellyfish aggregations and leatherback turtle foraging patterns in a temperate coastal environment. Ecology 87(8):1967–1972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Irigoien X, Harris RP, Head RN, Harbour D (2000) North Atlantic Oscillation and spring bloom phytoplankton composition in the English Channel. J Plankton Res 22(12):2367–2371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ivanov VP, Kamakin AM, Ushivtzev VB, Shiganova T, Zhukova O, Aladin N, Wilson SI, Harbison GR, Dumont HJ (2000) Invasion of the Caspian Sea by the comb jellyfish Mnemiopsis leidyi (Ctenophora). Biol Invasions 2(3):255–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kideys AE (2002) Fall and rise of the black sea ecosystem. Science 297(5586):1482–1484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kideys A, Moghim M (2003) Distribution of the alien ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the Caspian Sea in August 2001. Mar Biol 142(1):163–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kogovšek T, Bogunović B, Malej A (2010) Recurrence of bloom-forming scyphomedusae: wavelet analysis of a 200-year time series. Hydrobiologia 645(1):81–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lalli CM, Parsons TR (1993) Biological oceanography: an introduction. Pergamon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  25. Lucas CH (2001) Reproduction and life history strategies of the common jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, in relation to its ambient environment. Hydrobiologia 451(1–3):229–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lynam CP, Hay SJ, Brierley AS (2004) Interannual variability in abundance of North Sea jellyfish and links to the North Atlantic Oscillation. Limnol Oceanogr 49(3):637–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lynam CP, Gibbons MJ, Axelsen BE, Sparks CAJ, Coetzee J, Heywood BG, Brierley AS (2006) Jellyfish overtake fish in a heavily fished ecosystem. Curr Biol 16(13):492–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lynam CP, Attrill MJ, Skogen MD (2010) Climatic and oceanic influences on the abundance of gelatinous zooplankton in the North Sea. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 90:1153–1159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lynam CP, Lilley MKS, Bastian T, Doyle TK, Beggs SE, Hays GC (2011) Have jellyfish in the Irish Sea benefited from climate change and overfishing? Glob Change Biol 17(2):767–782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mills CE (1995) Medusae, Siphonophores, and Ctenophores as planktivorous predators in changing global ecosystems. ICES J Mar Sci 52(3–4):575–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mills CE (2001) Jellyfish blooms: are populations increasing globally in response to changing ocean conditions? Hydrobiologia 451(1–3):55–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Molinero JC, Casini M, Buecher E (2008) The influence of the Atlantic and regional climate variability on the long-term changes in gelatinous carnivore populations in the northwestern Mediterranean. Limnol Oceanogr 53(4):1456–1467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moller H (1980) Scyphomedusae as predators and food competitors of larval fish. Meeresforschung 28(2–3):90–100Google Scholar
  34. Pages F, White MG, Rodhouse PG (1996) Abundance of gelatinous carnivores in the nekton community of the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone in summer 1994. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 141(1):139–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pauly D, Christensen V, Dalsgaard J, Froese R, Torres F Jr (1998) Fishing down marine food webs. Science 279(5352):860–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pauly D, Graham W, Libralato S, Morissette L, Deng Palomares ML (2009) Jellyfish in ecosystems, online databases, and ecosystem models. Hydrobiologia 616(1):67–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Perez-Ruzafa A, Gilabert J, Gutierrez JM, Fernandez AI, Marcos C, Sabah S (2002) Evidence of a planktonic food web response to changes in nutrient input dynamics in the Mar Menor coastal lagoon, Spain. Hydrobiologia 475(1):359–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pitt KA, Kingsford MJ (2003) Temporal variation in the virgin biomass of the edible jellyfish, Catostylus mosaicus (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae). Fish Res 63(3):303–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pitt KA, Purcell JE (2009) Jellyfish blooms: causes, consequences and recent advances. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pugh PR (1990) Biological collections made during Discovery CR 175 to BIOTRANS Site (c.47N, 20W). Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Report No. 277Google Scholar
  41. Pugh PR, Pages F, Boorman B (1997) Vertical distribution and abundance of pelagic cnidarians in the eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 77(2):341–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Purcell JE (2009) Extension of methods for jellyfish and ctenophore trophic ecology to large-scale research. Hydrobiologia 616(1):23–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Purcell JE, Decker MB (2005) Effects of climate on relative predation by scyphomedusae and ctenophores on copepods in Chesapeake Bay during 1987–2000. Limnol Oceanogr 50(1):376–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Purcell JE, Malej A, Benovic A (1999) Potential links of jellyfish to eutrophication and fisheries. In: Malone TC (ed) Ecosystems at the land-sea margin: drainage basin to coastal sea. Coastal and Estuarine Studies. American Geophysical Union, Washington, pp 241–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Purcell JE, Shiganova TA, Decker MB, Houde ED (2001) The ctenophore Mnemiopsis in native and exotic habitats: US estuaries versus the Black Sea basin. Hydrobiologia 451(1–3):145–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Purcell JE, Uye S, Lo W (2007) Anthropogenic causes of jellyfish blooms and their direct consequences for humans: a review. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 350:153–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Richardson AJ, Bakun A, Hays GC, Gibbons MJ (2009) The jellyfish joyride: causes, consequences and management responses to a more gelatinous future. Trends Ecol Evol 24(6):312–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. San Martin E, Harris RP, Irigoien X (2006) Latitudinal variation in plankton size spectra in the Atlantic Ocean. Deep Sea Res Part II Topic Stud Oceanogr 53(14–16):1560–1572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schneider G, Behrends G (1994) Population dynamics and the trophic role of Aurelia aurita medusae in the Kiel Bight and Western Baltic. ICES J Mar Sci 51(4):359–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shiganova T, Mirzoyan Z, Studenikina E, Volovik S, Siokou-Frangou I, Zervoudaki S, Christou E, Skirta A, Dumont H (2001) Population development of the invader ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, in the Black Sea and in other seas of the Mediterranean basin. Mar Biol 139(3):431–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Smyth TJ, Tilstone GH, Groom SB (2005) Integration of radiative transfer into satellite models of ocean primary production. J Geophys Res 110(C10):C10014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Strömberg KHP, Smyth TJ, Allen JI, Pitois S, O’Brien TD (2009) Estimation of global zooplankton biomass from satellite ocean colour. J Mar Sys 78(1):18–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tsolaki E, Diamadopoulos E (2010) Technologies for ballast water treatment: a review. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 85(1):19–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Uye S, Shimauchi H (2005) Population biomass, feeding, respiration and growth rates, and carbon budget of the scyphomedusa Aurelia aurita in the Inland Sea of Japan. J Plankton Res 27(3):237–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zavodnik D (1991) Occurrences of Pelagia noctiluca (Scyphozoa) in North Adriatic coastal areas. In: UNEP (ed) Jellyfish blooms in the Mediterranean: Proceedings of the II workshop on jellyfish in the mediterranean sea, vol MAP technical reports No. 47. UNEP, Trieste 2–5 September 1987, pp 202–211Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. K. S. Lilley
    • 1
  • S. E. Beggs
    • 2
  • T. K. Doyle
    • 3
  • V. J. Hobson
    • 1
  • K. H. P. Stromberg
    • 4
  • G. C. Hays
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiosciencesSwansea UniversitySingleton Park, SwanseaUK
  2. 2.Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems Branch, Agri-Food and Biosciences InstituteNewforge Lane, BelfastUK
  3. 3.Coastal and Marine Research Centre, ERI, University College Cork, Glucksman Marine FacilityCorkIreland
  4. 4.Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological InstituteNorrköpingSweden

Personalised recommendations