Skip to main content

A review and synthesis on the systematics and evolution of jellyfish blooms: advantageous aggregations and adaptive assemblages

Abstract

Pelagic gelatinous invertebrates in many diverse phyla aggregate, bloom, or swarm. Although typically portrayed as annoying to humans, such accumulations probably are evolutionary adaptations to the environments of pelagic gelatinous zooplankton. We explore this proposition by systematic analysis completed in three steps. First, using the current morphological taxonomic framework for Scyphozoa, we summarize relevant information on species that aggregate, bloom, and swarm and on those species that do not. Second, we establish a molecular phylogenetic framework for assessing evolutionary relationships among classes and many orders of Medusozoa and among most families of Scyphozoa (particularly Discomedusae). Third, we interpret the phylogenetic distribution of taxa and of characteristics of jellyfish that aggregate, bloom, or swarm, in terms of species diversity—a proxy for evolutionary success. We found that: (1) Medusae that occur en masse are not randomly distributed within the Phylum Cnidaria but instead they are found primarily within the Scyphozoa which have a metagenic life history. (2) Midwater and deep-sea medusae rarely bloom or swarm. (3) Epibenthic medusae do not swarm. (4) Large carnivores that feed on large prey do not bloom strongly. (5) Large medusae that feed exclusively on small prey both bloom and swarm. (6) Pelagia, the only holoplanktonic, epipelagic scyphomedusan, both blooms and swarms, demonstrating that a metagenic life cycle is not required for blooming or swarming at sea. (7) Environmental change (overfishing, species introductions, and eutrophication) may induce or inhibit blooms. (8) Taxa that bloom or swarm are often more diverse than taxa that do not. (9) Speciation in scyphozoans can occur rapidly. (10) Morphological stasis in holozooplankton masks genetic variability. (11) Selection for convergent evolution in the sea is strong because mass occurrence has evolved multiple times in independent evolutionary lineages under similar circumstances. Thus, attributes possessed by many taxa that occur en masse appear to be evolutionarily advantageous, i.e., adaptations.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  • Albert, D. J., 2005. Reproduction and longevity of Aurelia labiata in Roscoe Bay, a small bay on the Pacific coast of Canada. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85: 575–581.

    Google Scholar 

  • Albert, D. J., 2007. Aurelia labiata medusae (Scyphozoa) in Roscoe Bay avoid tidal dispersion by vertical migration. Journal of Sea Research 57: 281–287.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arai, M. N., 1992. Active and passive factors affecting aggregations of hydromedusae: a review. Scientia Marina 56: 99–108.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arai, M. N., 1997. A Functional Biology of Scyphozoa. Chapman and Hall, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arai, M. N., 2001. Pelagic coelenterates and eutrophication: a review. Hydrobiologia 451 (Developments in Hydrobiology 155): 69–87.

    Google Scholar 

  • Båmstedt, U., S. Kaartvedt & M. Youngbluth, 2003. An evaluation of acoustic and video methods to estimate the abundance and vertical distribution of jellyfish. Journal of Plankton Research 25: 1307–1318.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barraclough, T. G., S. Nee & P. H. Harvey, 1998. Sister-group analysis in identifying correlates of diversification. Evolutionary Ecology 12: 751–754.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barz, K., H.-H. Hinrichson & H.-J. Hirche, 2006. Scyphozoa in the Bornholm Basin (central Baltic Sea) the role of advection. Journal of Marine Systems 60: 167–176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bickford, D., D. J. Lohman, N. S. Sodhi, P. K. L. Ng, R. Meier, K. Winker, K. K. Ingram & I. Das, 2007. Cryptic species as a window on diversity and conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22: 148–156.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bigelow, H. B., 1926. Plankton of the offshore waters of the Gulf of Maine. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries, Washington 40, 1924, part II, document number 968, pp. 1–509. figs. 1–134.

  • Billett, D. S. M., B. J. Bett, C. L. Jacobs, I. P. Rouse & B. D. Wigham, 2006. Mass deposition of jellyfish in the deep Arabian Sea. Limnology and Oceanography 51: 2077–2083.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bolton, T. F. & W. M. Graham, 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278: 125–139.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bone, Q., 2005. Gelatinous animals and physiology. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85: 641–653.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bouillon, J. & F. Boero, 2000. Phylogeny and classification of Hydroidomedusae. The Hydrozoa: a new classification in the light of old knowledge. Thalassia Salentina 24: 1–46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brodeur, R. D., H. Sugisaki & G. L. Hunt Jr., 2002. Increases in jellyfish biomass in the Bering Sea: implications for the ecosystem. Marine Ecology Progress Series 233: 89–103.

    Google Scholar 

  • Buecher, E., J. Goy, B. Planque, M. Etienne & S. Dallot, 1997. Long-term fluctuations of Liriope tetraphylla in Villefranche bay between 1966 and 1993 compared to Pelagia noctiluca populations. Oceanologica Acta 20: 145–157.

    Google Scholar 

  • Calder, D. R., 1973. Laboratory observations on the life history of Rhopilema verrilli (Scyphozoa : Rhizostomeae). Marine Biology 21: 109–114.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carroll, S. P., A. P. Hendry, D. N. Reznick & C. W. Fox, 2007. Evolution on ecological time-scales. Functional Ecology 21: 387–393.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cartwright, P., S. L. Halgedahl, J. R. Hendricks, R. D. Jarrard, A. C. Marques, A. G. Collins & B. S. Lieberman, 2007. Exceptionally preserved jellyfishes from the Middle Cambrian. PLoS ONE 2(10): e1121.

  • Colin, S. P., J. H. Costello & H. Kordula, 2006. Upstream foraging by medusae. Marine Ecology Progress Series 327: 143–155.

    Google Scholar 

  • Collins, A. G., 2002. Phylogeny of Medusozoa and the evolution of cnidarian life cycles. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 15: 418–432.

    Google Scholar 

  • Collins, A. G., P. Schuchert, A. C. Marques, T. Jankowski, M. Medina & B. Schierwater, 2006. Medusozoan phylogeny and character evolution clarified by new large and small subunit rDNA data and an assessment of the utility of phylogenetic mixture models. Systematic Biology 55: 97–115.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Coyne, J. A. & H. A. Orr, 2004. Speciation. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Daly, M., M. R. Brugler, P. Cartwright, A. G. Collins, M. N. Dawson, D. G. Fautin, S. C. France, C. S. McFadden, D. M. Opresko, E. Rodriguez, S. Romano & J. Stake, 2007. The phylum Cnidaria: a review of phylogenetic patterns and diversity three hundred years after Linnaeus. Zootaxa 1668: 127–182.

    Google Scholar 

  • DalyYahia, M. N., J. Goy & O. DalyYahia-Kéfi, 2003. Distribution et écologie des Méduses (Cnidaria) du golfe de Tunis (Méditerranée sud occidentale). Oceanologica Acta 26: 645–655.

    Google Scholar 

  • Daryanabard, R. & M. N. Dawson, 2008. Jellyfish blooms: Crambionella orsini (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) in the Gulf of Oman, Iran, 2002–2003. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 88: 477–483.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N., 2003. Macro-morphological variation among cryptic species of the moon jellyfish, Aurelia (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa). Marine Biology 143: 369–379.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N., 2004. Some implications of molecular phylogenetics for understanding biodiversity in jellyfishes, with emphasis on Scyphozoa. Hydrobiologia 530(531): 249–260.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N., 2005a. Incipient speciation of Catostylus mosaicus (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae, Catostylidae), comparative phylogeography and biogeography in southeastern Australia. Journal of Biogeography 32: 515–533.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N., 2005b. Morphologic and molecular redescription of Catostylus mosaicus conservativus (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae, Catostylidae) from southeast Australia. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85: 723–732.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N., 2005c. Cyanea capillata is not a cosmopolitan jellyfish: morphological and molecular evidence for C. annaskala and C. rosea (Scyphozoa, Semaeostomeae, Cyaneidae) in southeast Australia. Invertebrate Systematics 19: 361–370.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N., 2005d. Five new subspecies of Mastigias (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae: Mastigiidae) from marine lakes, Palau, Micronesia. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85: 679–694.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N., 2005e. Morphological variation and systematics in the Scyphozoa: Mastigias (Rhizostomeae, Mastigiidae)—a golden unstandard? Hydrobiologia 537: 185–206.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N. & W. M. Hamner, 2003. Geographic variation and behavioral evolution in marine plankton: the case of Mastigias (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae). Marine Biology 143: 1161–1174.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N. & W. M. Hamner, 2005. Rapid evolutionary radiation of marine zooplankton in peripheral environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 102: 9235–9240.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N & W. M. Hamner, this volume. A character-based analysis of the evolution of jellyfish blooms: adaptation and exaptation. Hydrobiologia (Developments in Hydrobiology). doi:10.1007/s10750-008-9591-x.

  • Dawson, M. N. & D. K. Jacobs, 2001. Molecular evidence for cryptic species of Aurelia aurita (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa). Biological Bulletin 200: 92–96.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N. & L. E. Martin, 2001. Geographic variation and ecological adaptation in Aurelia (Scyphozoa: Semaeostomeae): some implications from molecular phylogenetics. Hydrobiologia/Dev. Hydrobiologia 451: 259–273.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N., K. A. Raskoff & D. K. Jacobs, 1998. Preservation of marine invertebrate tissues for DNA analyses. Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology 7: 145–152.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, M. N., A. S. Gupta & M. H. England, 2005. Coupled biophysical global ocean model and molecular genetic analyses identify multiple introductions of cryptogenic species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 102: 11968–11973.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Decker, M. B., C. W. Brown, R. R. Hood, J. E. Purcell, T. F. Gross, J. C. Matanoski, R. O. Bannon & E. M. Setzler-Hamilton, 2007. Predicting the distribution of the scyphomedusa Chrysaora quinquecirrha in Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series 329: 99–113.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ellner, S. & N. G. Hairston, 1994. Role of overlapping generations in maintaining genetic variation in a fluctuating environment. American Naturalist 143: 403–417.

    Google Scholar 

  • Folmer, O., M. Black, W. Hoeh, R. Lutz & R. Vrijenhoek, 1994. DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology 3: 294–299.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Foster, S., 1999. The geography of behaviour: an evolutionary perspective. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 14: 190–195.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gershwin, L., 2001. Systematics and biogeography of the jellyfish Aurelia labiata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa). Biological Bulletin 201: 104–119.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gershwin, L. & A. G. Collins, 2002. A preliminary phylogeny of Pelagiidae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa), with new observations of Chrysaora colorata comb. nov. Journal of Natural History 36: 127–148.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gili, J.-M., J. Bouillon, F. Pages, A. Palanques & P. Puig, 1999. Submarine canyons as habitats of prolific plankton populations: three new deep-sea Hydroidomedusae in the western Mediterranean. Zoological Journals of the Linnean Society 125: 313–329.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goy, J., P. Morand & M. Etienne, 1989. Long-term fluctuations of Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria, Scyphomedusa) in the western Mediterranean Sea. Prediction by climatic variables. Deep-Sea Research 36: 269–279.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, W. M., 2001. Numerical increases and distributional shifts of Chrysaora quinquecirrha (Desor) and Aurelia aurita (Linné) (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Hydrobiologia 451 (Developments in Hydrobiology 155): 97–111.

  • Graham, W. M. & J. L. Largier, 1997. Upwelling shadows as nearshore retention sites: the example of northern Monterey Bay. Continental Shelf Research 17: 509–532.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, W. M., Pagès, F. & W. M. Hamner, 2001. A physical context for gelatinous zooplankton aggregations: a review. Hydrobiologia 451 (Developments in Hydrobiology 155): 199–212.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, W. M., D. L. Martin, D. L. Felder, V. L. Asper & H. M. Perry, 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5: 53–69.

    Google Scholar 

  • Greenberg, N., R. L. Garthwaite & D. C. Potts, 1996. Allozyme and morphological evidence for a newly introduced species of Aurelia in San Francisco Bay California. Marine Biology 125: 401–410.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hamner, W. M., 1982. Strange world of Palau’s salt lakes. National Geographic Magazine 161: 264–282.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamner, W. M., 1995. Predation, cover, and convergent evolution in epipelagic oceans. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 26: 71–89.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamner, W. M. & P. P. Hamner, 1998. Stratified marine lakes of Palau (Western Caroline Islands). Physical Geography 19: 175–220.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamner, W. M. & I. R. Hauri, 1981. Long-distance horizontal migrations of zooplankton (Scyphomedusae: Mastigias). Limnology and Oceanography 26: 414–423.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamner, W. M. & R. M. Jenssen, 1974. Growth, degrowth, and irreversible cell differentiation in Aurelia aurita. American Zoologist 14: 833–849.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamner, W. M., L. P. Madin, A. L. Alldredge, R. W. Gilmer & P. P. Hamner, 1975. Underwater observations of gelatinous zooplankton: Sampling problems, feeding biology, and behavior. Limnology and Oceanography 20: 907–917.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamner, W. M., R. W. Gilmer & P. P. Hamner, 1982. The physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of a stratified, saline, sulfide lake in Palau. Limnology and Oceanography 27: 896–909.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hamner, W. M., P. P. Hamner & S. W. Strand, 1994. Sun compass migration by Aurelia aurita (Scyphozoa): population persistence versus dispersal in Saanich Inlet, British Columbia. Marine Biology 119: 347–356.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansson, L. J., 1997. Capture and digestion of the scyphozoan jellyfish Aurelia aurita by Cyanea capillata and prey response to predator contact. Journal of Plankton Research 19: 195–208.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansson, L. J., 2006. A method for in situ estimation of prey selectivity and predation rate in large plankton, exemplified with the jellyfish Aurelia aurita (L.). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 328: 113–126.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansson, L. J. & Kiørboe, 2006. Effects of large gut volume in gelatinous zooplankton: ingestion rate, bolus production and food patch utilization by the jellyfish Sarsia tubulosa. Journal of Plankton Research 28: 937–942.

  • Hay, S., 2006. Marine ecology: gelatinous bells may ring change in marine ecosystems. Current Biology 16: 679–682.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hendry, A. P., P. Nosil & L. H. Rieseberg, 2007. The speed of ecological speciation. Functional Ecology 21: 455–464.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Herring, P., 2002. The Biology of the Deep Ocean. Oxford University Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hewitt, C. L., M. L. Campbell, R. E. Thresher, R. B. Martin, S. Boyd, B. F. Cohen, D. R. Currie, M. F. Gomon, M. J. Keough, A. J. Lewis, M. M. Lockett, N. Mays, M. A. McArthur, T. D. O’Hara, G. C. B. Poore, D. J. Ross, M. J. Storey, J. E. Watson & R. S. Wilson, 2004. Introduced and cryptogenic species in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. Marine Biology 144: 183–202.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holland, B. S., M. N. Dawson, G. L. Crow & D. K. Hofmann, 2004. Global phylogeography of Cassiopea (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomae): molecular evidence for cryptic species and multiple Hawaiian invasions. Marine Biology 145: 1119–1128.

    Google Scholar 

  • Houghton, J. D. R., T. K. Doyle, M. W. Wilson, J. Davenport & G. C. Hays, 2006. Jellyfish aggregations and leatherback turtle foraging patterns in a temperate coastal environment. Ecology 87: 1967–1972.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hsieh, Y.-H. P., F.-M. Leong & J. Rudloe, 2001. Jellyfish as food. Hydrobiologia 451 (Developments in Hydrobiology 155): 11–17.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ishii, H. & U. Båmstedt, 1998. Food regulation of growth and maturation in a natural population of Aurelia aurita (L.). Journal Plankton Research 20: 805–816.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jablonka, E. & M. J. Lamb, 2005. Evolution in four dimensions: genetic, epigenetic, behavioral, and symbolic variation in the history of life. MIT Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jarms, G., U. Båmstedt, H. Tiemann, M. B. Martinussen & J. H. Fosså, 1999. The holopelagic life cycle of the deep-sea medusa Periphylla periphylla (Scyphozoa, Coronatae). Sarsia 84: 55–65.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jarms, G., H. Tiemann & U. Båmstedt, 2002. Development and biology of Periphylla periphylla (Scyphozoa: Coronatae) in a Norwegian fjord. Marine Biology 141: 647–657.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jeanmougin, F., J. D. Thompson, M. Gouy, D. G. Higgins & T. J. Gibson, 1998. Multiple sequence alignment with ClustalX. Trends in Biochemical Science 23: 403–405.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. R., H. M. Perry & W. M. Graham, 2005. Using nowcast model currents to explore transport of non-indigenous jellyfish into the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Ecology Progress Series 305: 139–146.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kawahara, M., S. Uye, K. Ohtsu & H. Iizumi, 2006. Unusual population explosion of the giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) in East Asian waters. Marine Ecology Progress Series 307: 161–173.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kikinger, R., 1992. Cotylorhiza tuberculata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa)—Life history of a stationary population. Marine Ecology 13: 333–362.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiortsis, V., 1965. Planctonological survey of the North-Aegean Sea. Technical Report for U.S. Navy Contract N62558.

  • Kingsford, M. J., K. A. Pitt & B. M. Gillanders, 2000. Management of jellyfish fisheries, with special reference to the order Rhizostomeae. Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review 38: 85–156.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kramp, P. L., 1961. Synopsis of the medusae of the world. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 40: 1–469.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kramp, P. L., 1965. Some medusae (mainly scyphomedusae) from Australian coastal waters. Transcripts of the Royal Society of South Australia 89: 257–278.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kramp, P. L., 1968. The scyphomedusae collected by the Galathea expedition 1950–52. Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening I Kjoebenhavn 131: 67–98.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kramp, P. L., 1970. Zoogeographical studies on Rhizostomeae (Scyphozoa). Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening I Kjoebenhavn 133: 7–30.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kremer, P., J. Costello, J. Kremer & M. Canino, 1990. Significance of photosynthetic endosymbionts to the carbon budget of the scyphomedusa Linuche unguiculata. Limnology and Oceanography 35: 609–624.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Larson, R. J., 1976. Cubomedusae: feeding—functional morphology, behavior and phylogenetic position. In Mackie, G. O. (ed.), Coelenterate Ecology and Behavior. Plenum, New York: 237–245.

    Google Scholar 

  • Larson, R. J., 1986. Pelagic scyphomedusae (Scyphozoa: Coronatae and Semaeostomeae) of the Southern Ocean. Biology of the Antarctic Seas. Antarctic Research Series 41: 59–165.

    Google Scholar 

  • Larson, R. J., 1987. First report of the little-known scyphomedusa Drymonema dalmatinum in the Caribbean Sea, with notes on its biology. Bulletin of Marine Science 40: 437–441.

    Google Scholar 

  • Larson, R. J., 1992. Riding Langmuir circulations and swimming in circles: a novel form of clustering behavior by the scyphomedusa Linuche unguiculata. Marine Biology 112: 229–235.

    Google Scholar 

  • Linneaus, C., 1758. Systema Naturae, 10th ed. Holmiae L. Salvii, Stockholm.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lipton, J., 1991. An Exaltation of Larks: The Ultimate Edition. Viking Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lotan, A., R. Ben-Hillel & Y. Loya, 1992. Life cycle of Rhopilema nomadica: a new immigrant Scyphomedusan in the Mediterranean. Marine Biology 112: 237–242.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lotan, A., M. Fine & R. Ben-Hillel, 1994. Synchronization of the life cycle and dispersal pattern of the tropical invader scyphomedusan Rhopilema nomadica is temperature dependent. Marine Ecology Progress Series 109: 59–65.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lucas, C. H., 1996. Population dynamics of Aurelia aurita (Scyphozoa) from an isolated brackish lake, with particular reference to sexual reproduction. Journal of Plankton Research 18: 987–1007.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lucas, C. H., 2001. Reproduction and life history strategies of the common jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, in relation to its ambient environment. Hydrobiologia 451(Developments in Hydrobiology 155): 229–246.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lucas, C. H. & J. A. Williams, 1994. Population dynamics of the scyphomedusa Aurelia aurita in Southampton water. Journal of Plankton Research 16: 879–895.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lukoschek, V. & J. S. Keogh, 2006. Molecular phylogeny of sea snakes reveals a rapidly diverged adaptive radiation. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 89: 523–539.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lynam, C. P., S. J. Hay & A. S. Brierley, 2004. Interannual variability in abundance of North Sea jellyfish and links to the North Atlantic oscillation. Limnology and Oceanography 49: 637–643.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lynam, C. P., S. J. Hay & A. S. Brierley, 2005. Jellyfish abundance and climatic variation: contrasting responses in oceanographically distinct regions of the North Sea, and possible implications for fisheries. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85: 435–450.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lynam, C. P., M. J. Gibbons, B. E. Axelsen, C. A. J. Sparks, J. Coetzee, B. G. Heywood & A. S. Brierley, 2006. Jellyfish overtake fish in a heavily fished ecosystem. Current Biology 16: 492–493.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maddison, W. P. & D. R. Maddison, 1989. Interactive analysis of phylogeny and character evolution using the computer program MacClade. Folia Primatologica (Basel) 53: 190–202.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Malej, A., 1989. Behaviour and trophic ecology of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (Forsskål, 1775). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 126: 259–270.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marques, A. C. & A. G. Collins, 2004. Cladistic analysis of Medusozoa and cnidarian evolution. Invertebrate Biology 123: 23–42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martin, J. W., L. Gershwin, J. W. Burnett, D. G. Cargo & D. A. Bloom, 1997. Chrysaora achlyos, a remarkable new species of scyphozoan from the Eastern Pacific. Biological Bulletin 193: 8–13.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martin, L. E., M. N. Dawson, L. J. Bell & P. L. Colin, 2005. Marine lake ecosystem dynamics illustrate ENSO variation in the tropical western Pacific. Biology Letters 2: 144–147.

    Google Scholar 

  • Masilamoni, J. G., K. S. Jesudoss, K. Nandakumar, K. K. Satpathy, K. V. K. Nair & J. Azariah, 2000. Jellyfish ingress: a threat to the smooth operation of coastal power plants. Current Science 79: 567–569.

    Google Scholar 

  • Matsumoto, G. I., K. A. Raskoff & D. J. Lindsay, 2003. Tiburonia granrojo n. sp., a mesopelagic scyphomedusa from the Pacific Ocean representing the type of a new subfamily (class Scyphozoa: order Semaeostomeae: family Ulmaridae: subfamily Tiburoniinae subfam. nov.). Marine Biology 143: 73–77.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, A. G., 1910. Medusae of the World, III—the Scyphomedusae. Carnegie Institute, Washington.

    Google Scholar 

  • Medlin, L., H. J. Elwood, S. Stickel & M. L. Sogin, 1988. The characterization of enzymatically amplified eukaryotic 16S-like ribosomal RNA-coding regions. Gene 71: 491–499.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mianzan, H. W. & P. F. S. Cornelius, 1999. Cubomedusae and Scyphomedusae. In Boltovskoy, D. (ed.), South Atlantic Zooplankton. 1. Backhuys Press, Leiden: 513–559.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mianzan, H., D. Sorarrain, J. W. Burnett & L. L. Lutz, 2000. Mucocutaneous junctional and flexural paresthesias caused by the holoplanktonic trachymedusa Liriope tetraphylla. Dermatology 201: 46–48.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mills, C. E., 2001. Jellyfish blooms: are populations increasing globally in response to changing ocean conditions? Hydrobiologia 451 (Developments in Hydrobiology 155): 55–68.

  • Mills, C. E. & J. Goy, 1988. In situ observations of the behavior of mesopelagic Solmissus narcomedusae (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa). Bulletin of Marine Science 43: 739–751.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mitchell, C. E. & A. G. Power, 2003. Release of invasive plants from fungal and viral pathogens. Nature 421: 625–627.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Miyake, H., K. Iwao & Y. Kakinuma, 1997. Life history and environment of Aurelia aurita. South Pacific Study 17: 273–285.

    Google Scholar 

  • Möller, H., 1980. A summer survey of large zooplankton, particularly scyphomedusae, in North Sea and Baltic. Meeresforschung 28: 61–68.

    Google Scholar 

  • Møller, L. F. & H. U. Riisgård, 2007. Population dynamics, growth and predation impact of the common jellyfish Aurelia aurita and two hydromedusae, Sarsia tubulosa, and Aequorea vitrina in Limfjorden (Denmark). Marine Ecology Progress Series 346: 153–165.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moore, J. & P. Willmer, 1997. Convergent evolution in invertebrates. Biological Review 72: 1–60.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Morand, P., C. Carré & D. C. Biggs, 1987. Feeding and metabolism of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (scyphomedusae, semaeostomae). Journal of Plankton Research 9: 651–665.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morandini, A. C., F. da Silveira & G. Jarms, 2004. The life cycle of Chrysaora lactea Eschscholtz, 1829 (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) with notes on the scyphistoma stage of three other species. Hydrobiologia 530(531): 347–354.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morris, A. K., 2006. Zooplankton aggregations in California coastal zones, Ph.D. thesis, UCLA, 309 pp.

  • Norris, R. D., 2000. Pelagic species diversity, biogeography, and evolution. Paleobiology 26: 236–258.

    Google Scholar 

  • Omori, M. & E. Nakano, 2001. Jellyfish fisheries in southeast Asia. Hydrobiologia 451 (Developments in Hydrobiology 155): 19–26.

    Google Scholar 

  • Parrish, J. K. & W. M. Hamner (eds), 1997. Animal Groups in Three Dimensions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pennak, R. W., 1956. The fresh-water jellyfish Craspedacusta in Colorado with some remarks on its ecology and morphological degeneration. Transactions of the American Microscopical Society 75: 324–331.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pertsova, N. M., K. N. Kosobokova & A. A. Prudkovsky, 2006. Population size structure, spatial distribution, life cycle of the hydromedusa Aglantha digitale (O. F. Muller, 1766) in the White Sea. Oceanology 46: 228–237.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pitt, K. A., 2000. Life history and settlement preferences of the edible jellyfish Catostylus mosaicus (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae). Marine Biology 136: 269–279.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pitt, K. A. & M. J. Kingsford, 2000. Geographic separation of stocks of the edible jellyfish Catostylus mosaicus (Rhizostomeae) in New South Wales, Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 196: 143–155.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pitt, K. A. & M. J. Kingsford, 2003. Temporal variation in the virgin biomass of the edible jellyfish, Catostylus mosaicus (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae). Fisheries Research 63: 303–313.

    Google Scholar 

  • Posada, D. & K. A. Crandall, 1998. Modeltest: testing the model of DNA substitution. Bioinformatics 14: 817–818.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Purcell, J. E., 1989. Predation on fish larvae and eggs by the hydromedusa Aequorea victoria at a herring spawning ground in British Columbia. Canadian Journal Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 46: 1415–1427.

    Google Scholar 

  • Purcell, J. E., 2003. Predation on zooplankton by large jellyfish, Aurelia labiata, Cyanea capillata and Aequorea aequorea, in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Marine Ecology Progress Series 246: 137–152.

    Google Scholar 

  • Purcell, J. E., 2005. Climate effects on formation of jellyfish and ctenophore blooms. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85: 461–476.

    Google Scholar 

  • Purcell, J. E., U. Båmstedt & A. Båmstedt, 1999. Prey, feeding rates, and asexual reproduction rates of the introduced oligohaline hydrozoan Moerisia lyonsi. Marine Biology 134: 317–325.

    Google Scholar 

  • Purcell, J. E., D. L. Breitburg, M. B. Decker, W. M. Graham, M. J. Youngbluth & K. A. Raskoff, 2001. Pelagic cnidarians and ctenophores in low dissolved oxygen environments: a review. In Rabalais, N. N. & R. E. Turner (eds), Coastal Hypoxia: Consequences for Living Resources and Ecosystems. Coastal Estuarine Studies 58: 77–100.

  • Purcell, J. E., S. Uye & W. Lo, 2007. Anthropogenic causes of jellyfish blooms and their direct consequences for humans: a review. Marine Ecology Progress Series 350: 153–174.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rakow, K. C. & W. M. Graham, 2006. Orientation and swimming mechanics by the scyphomedusa Aurelia sp. in shear flow. Limnology and Oceanography 51: 1097–1106.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rottini Sandrini, L. & M. Avian, 1983. Biological cycle of Pelagia noctiluca: morphological aspects of the development from planula to ephyra. Marine Biology 74: 169–174.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rottini Sandrini, L. & M. Avian, 1989. Feeding mechanism of Pelagia noctiluca (Scyphozoa: Semaeostomeae); laboratory and open sea observations. Marine Biology 102: 49–55.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rottini Sandrini, L. & M. Avian, 1991. Reproduction of Pelagia noctiluca in the central and northern Adriatic Sea. Hydrobiologia 216(217): 197–202.

    Google Scholar 

  • Russell, F. S., 1970. The Medusae of the British Isles. II Pelagic Scyphozoa with a Supplement to the First Volume on Hydromedusae. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Santhakumari, V. & V. R. Nair, 1999. Distribution of hydromedusae from the exclusive economic zone of the west and east coasts of India. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences 28: 150–157.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sasaki, A. & S. Ellner, 1997. Quantitative genetic variance maintained by fluctuating selection with overlapping generations: variance components and covariances. Evolution 51: 682–696.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sasaki, A. & G. De Jong, 1999. Density dependence and unpredictable selection in a heterogeneous environment: compromise and polymorphism in the ESS reaction norm. Evolution 53: 1329–1342.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schluter, D., 1996. Adaptive radiation along genetic lines of least resistance. Evolution 50: 1766–1774.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schluter, D., 2000. The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation. Oxford University Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schneider, G., 1988. Larvae production of the common jelly-fish Aurelia aurita in the Western Baltic 1982–1984. Kieler Meeresforschungen 6: 295–300.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schneider, G., 1989. The common jelly-fish Aurelia aurita: standing stock, excretion, and nutrient regeneration in the Kiel Bight, Western Baltic. Marine Biology (Berlin) 100: 507–514.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schroth, W., G. Jarms, B. Streit & B. Schierwater, 2002. Speciation and phylogeography in the cosmopolitan marine moon jelly, Aurelia sp. BioMed Central Evolutionary Biology 2: 1–10.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Shanks, A. L. & W. M. Graham, 1987. Orientated swimming in the jellyfish Stomolophus meleagris L. Agassiz (Scyphozoan: Rhizostomida). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 108: 159–169.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sørnes, T. A., D. L. Aksnes, U. Båmstedt & M. J. Youngbluth, 2007. Causes for mass occurrences of the jellyfish Periphylla periphylla: an hypothesis that involves optically conditioned retention. Journal of Plankton Research Advance Access: 1–28. doi:10.1093/plankt/fbm003

  • Sparks, C. A. J., E. Buecher, A. S. Brierley, B. E. Axelsen, H. Boyer & M. J. Gibbons, 2001. Observations on the distribution, and relative abundance of Chrysaora hysoscella (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) and Aequorea aequorea (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) in the northern Benguela ecosystem. Hydrobiologia 451 (Developments in Hydrobiology 155): 275–286.

  • Stephens, L. D. & D. R. Calder, 2006. Seafaring scientist: Alfred Goldsborough Mayor, pioneer in Marine Biology. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stiasny, G., 1921. Studien über rhizostomeen. In van Oort, E. D. (ed.), Capita Zoologica. Martinus Njhoff, Gravenhage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Strand, S. W. & W. M. Hamner, 1988. Predatory behavior of Phacellophora camtschatica and size-selective predation upon Aurelia aurita (Scyphozoa: Cnidaria) in Saanich Inlet, British Columbia. Marine Biology 99: 409–414.

    Google Scholar 

  • Swofford, D. L., 2002. PAUP*: Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony (*and Other Methods). Version 4. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland.

    Google Scholar 

  • Takahashi, D. & T. Ikeda, 2006. Abundance, vertical distribution and life cycle patterns of the hydromedusa Aglantha digitale in the Oyashio region, western Subarctic Pacific. Plankton and Benthos Research 1: 91–96.

    Google Scholar 

  • Titelman, J., L. Riemann, T. A. Sørnes, T. Nilsen, P. Griekspoor & U. Båmstedt, 2006. Turnover of dead jellyfish: stimulation and retardation of microbial activity. Marine Ecology Progress Series 325: 43–58.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Tomascik, T., A. J. Mah, A. Nontji & M. K. Moosa, 1997. The Ecology of the Indonesian Seas. I. Periplus Editions, Hong Kong.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ueno, S. & A. Mitsutani, 1994. Small-scale swarm of a hydrozoan medusa Liriope tetraphylla in Hiroshima Bay, the Inland Sea of Japan. Bulletin of the Plankton Society of Japan 41: 165–166.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vanhöffen, E. 1888. Untersuchungen uber semaostome und rhizostome medusen. Bibliotheca Zoologica.

  • von Lendenfeld, R., 1884. Local colour-varieties of scyphomedusae. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 9: 925–928.

    Google Scholar 

  • von Lendenfeld, R., 1887. Descriptive catalogue of the medusae of the Australian seas. The Australian Museum, Sydney.

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams, E. H. Jr., L. Bunkley-Williams, C.-G. Lilyestrom, R. J. Larson, N. A. Engstrom, E. A. R. Ortiz-Corps & J. H. Timber, 2001. A population explosion of the rare tropical/subtropical purple sea mane, Drymonema dalmatinum, around Puerto Rico in the summer and fall of 1999. Caribbean Journal of Science 37: 127–130.

    Google Scholar 

  • Xian, W., B. Kang & R. Liu, 2005. Jellyfish blooms in the Yangtze Estuary. Science 307: 41.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Yasuda, T., 1968. Ecological studies on the jelly-fish, Aurelia aurita, in Urazoko Bay, Fukuii Prefecture—II. Occurrence pattern of ephyrae. Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries 34: 983–987.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yasuda, T., 1969. Ecological studies on the jelly-fish, Aurelia aurita, in Urazoko Bay, Fukui Prefecture—III Occurrence pattern of the medusa. Bull. Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries 35: 1–6.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yasuda, T., 1971. Ecological studies on the jelly-fish, Aurelia aurita, in Urazoko Bay, Fukuii Prefecture—IV. Monthly change in bell-length composition and breeding season. Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries 37: 364–370.

    Google Scholar 

  • Youngbluth, M. J. & U. Båmstedt, 2001. Distribution, abundance, behavior and metabolism of Periphylla periphylla, a mesopelagic coronate medusa in a Norwegian fjord. Hydrobiologia 451 (Developments in Hydrobiology 155): 321–333.

  • Zaitsev, Y. P. & V. Mamaev, 1997. Marine biological diversity in the Black Sea: a study of change and decline. United Nations Publications, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zavodnik, D., 1987. Spatial aggregations of the swarming jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (Scyphozoa). Marine Biology 94: 265–269.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

M. Arai, P. Hamner, L. Martin, K. Pitt, J. Purcell, and two anonymous reviewers critiqued, improved, and suggested how to organize the content and presentation of this manuscript. WMH thanks the organizers of the 2nd International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium, K. Pitt and J. Seymour, for the invitation to present a plenary address at the meeting, and we thank the Editors for their patience and industry in preparing this volume. This work was supported in part by grant DEB-0717078 from the US National Science Foundation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to William M. Hamner.

Additional information

Guest editors: K. A. Pitt & J. E. Purcell

Jellyfish Blooms: Causes, Consequences, and Recent Advances

Electronic supplementary material

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hamner, W.M., Dawson, M.N. A review and synthesis on the systematics and evolution of jellyfish blooms: advantageous aggregations and adaptive assemblages. Hydrobiologia 616, 161–191 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-008-9620-9

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-008-9620-9

Keywords