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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

How Much Gelatinous Biomass is there in the Global Ocean Seminar

14:00 - 15:00
13 June 2013
National Oceanography Centre University of Southampton Waterfront Campus European Way Southampton SO14 3ZH Node Room (074/02)

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Anna Hickman at .

Event details

Jellyfish and other gelatinous zooplankton have the ability to form spectacular blooms that can significantly impact marine food webs and carbon flow, as well as impact human enterprise such as tourism, fisheries and aquaculture, and power production. Recent scientific debate regarding future distribution and abundance of gelatinous zooplankton in the world's oceans has been hampered by the lack of global baseline from which to test hypotheses.

Using the Jellyfish Database Initiative (JEDI), ~92,000 quantitative abundance records for Cnidaria, Ctenophora and Thaliacea from 1934 to 2011 have been converted into carbon biomass using published biometric equations, and the spatial distribution of gelatinous zooplankton biomass in the upper 200m of the global ocean mapped into 5o grid cells and Longhurst biogeochemical provinces. Potential latitudinal and environmental drivers governing the observed spatial trends have been assessed using GLM and SLM analyses. The results show that gelatinous zooplankton are present throughout the world's oceans, with global geometric mean and geometric standard deviation of biomass is 0.53 ± 16.62 mg C m-3, corresponding to a global biomass of 38.3 Tg C in the upper mixed layer of the ocean. Although subject to sampling bias, greatest maximum biomass and variability are found in coastal and shelf regions in the northern hemisphere, indicating that these areas experience large and possibly blooming populations. Nevertheless, the presence of gelatinous zooplankton across the complete global spectra of temperature, chlorophyll a and dissolved oxygen values suggest that evolution has delivered a range of species able to adapt to all available ecological niches.

Speaker information

Dr Cathy Lucas,BSc (Hons) Zoology, Swansea University (1988) PhD Marine biology, University of Southampton (1993) Teaching Fellow, University of Southampton (1993) Post-doctoral fellowship, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, USA (1994) Post-doctoral research fellow (1995-2002) Temporary Lecturer, University of Southampton (2002 - 2004) Lecturer, University of Southampton (2005 - present)

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