Nonindigenous Marine Jellyfish: Invasiveness, Invasibility, and Impacts

  • Keith M. BayhaEmail author
  • William M. Graham


The marine jellyfishes (herein referring to pelagic scyphozoans, hydrozoans, and ctenophores) have been increasingly recognized as important nuisance species in ecosystems around the world, impacting fisheries, injuring swimmers, and clogging the intakes of power plants, among other effects. These animals have independently evolved life history and reproductive strategies that allow them to quickly reach large abundances and exert considerable ecological and economic impacts over their native ecosystems. However, many of these same adaptations have also led to the success of marine jellyfishes as bioinvaders, as many have established themselves as important predators in nonnative ecosystems around the globe. Here, we examine the role of marine jellyfishes as nonindigenous species. We begin by reviewing what is known about the invasion histories of the major nonindigenous jellyfishes and then analyze organismal attributes of marine jellyfishes that promote their success as bioinvaders (invasiveness) and characteristics of recipient ecosystems that increase likelihood of successful invasions by marine jellies (invasibility). We conclude by examining how these have interacted to determine which species have bloomed in their recipient ecosystems, exerting significant ecological and economic effects (impacts).


Jellyfish blooms Nonindigenous species Invasiveness Invisibility Scyphomedusae Hydromedusae Ctenophores Reproductive strategies Phenotypic plasticity Anthropogenic disturbance 



 We are grateful to our colleagues listed above who contributed photographs to this chapter. This chapter was improved by the efforts of the book editors (K.A. Pitt and C.H. Lucas) and two anonymous reviewers.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dauphin Island Sea LabDauphin IslandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Coastal SciencesUniversity of Southern MississippiOcean SpringsUSA
  3. 3.University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

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