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

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

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Shannon Point Marine Center, Western Washington University, Anacortes, Washington 98221, USA.


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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