, Volume 451, Issue 1–3, pp 213–221 | Cite as

Developing jellyfish strategy hypotheses using circulation models

  • Donald R. Johnson
  • Harriet M. Perry
  • W. David Burke


Little information exists relating life histories of jellyfish species to ocean currents. Successful cycling from sessile polyp to mature jellyfish and back must doubtlessly rely on circulation patterns that serve to retain the species in an optimum environment or disperse the species for other adaptive advantages. In this study, current vectors from a high resolution numerical model of the Gulf of Mexico are applied to a simple advection scheme to develop estimates of time and distance scales from probable polyp habitats to areas in which mature scyphomedusae are observed in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Although seasonal patterns of wind stress form the basis for circulation processes that favour shoreward distribution of medusae of oceanic origin, this dynamic may be altered by deep basin events that occur during critical life history stages. Inter-annual differences in distributional patterns of the sea nettle, Chrysaora quinquecirrha (Desor 1848), in Mississippi coastal waters could be explained by Loop Current processes that alter shelf circulation in the Mississippi Bight.

Scyphozoa Chrysaora quinquecirrha ocean circulation numerical modeling distribution 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald R. Johnson
    • 1
  • Harriet M. Perry
    • 2
  • W. David Burke
    • 2
  1. 1.Naval Research Laboratory, Oceanography DivisionStennis Space CenterU.S.A.
  2. 2.Institute of Marine Sciences, Gulf Coast Research LaboratoryUniversity of Southern MississippiOcean SpringsU.S.A.

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