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Ann Rev Mar Sci. 2012;4:209-35.

Jellyfish and ctenophore blooms coincide with human proliferations and environmental perturbations.

Author information

1
Shannon Point Marine Center, Western Washington University, Anacortes, Washington 98221, USA. purcelj3@wwu.edu

Abstract

Human populations have been concentrated along and exploiting the coastal zones for millennia. Ofregions with the highest human impacts on the oceans (Halpern et al. 2008), 6 of the top 10 have recently experienced blooms or problems with jellies. I review the time lines of human population growth and their effects on the coastal environment. I explore evidence suggesting that human activities--specifically, seafood harvest, eutrophication, hard substrate additions, transport ofnonindigenous species, aquaculture, and climate change--may benefit jelly populations. Direct evidence is lacking for most of these factors; however, numerous correlations show abundant jellies in areas with warm temperatures and low forage fish populations. Jelly populations fluctuate in approximately 10- and approximately 20-year cycles in concert with solar and climate cycles. Global warming will provide a rising baseline against which climate cycles will cause fluctuations in jelly populations. The probable acceleration of anthropogenic effects may lead to further problems with jellies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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