Title

Is global ocean sprawl a cause of jellyfish blooms?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2013

Department

Marine Science

Abstract

Jellyfish (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) blooms appear to be increasing in both intensity and frequency in many coastal areas worldwide, due to multiple hypothesized anthropogenic stressors. Here, we propose that the proliferation of artificial structures associated with (1) the exponential growth in shipping, aquaculture, and other coastal industries, and (2) coastal protection (collectively, "ocean sprawl") provides habitat for jellyfish polyps and may be an important driver of the global increase in jellyfish blooms. However, the habitat of the benthic polyps that commonly result in coastal jellyfish blooms has remained elusive, limiting our understanding of the drivers of these blooms. Support for the hypothesized role of ocean sprawl in promoting jellyfish blooms is provided by observations and experimental evidence demonstrating that jellyfish larvae settle in large numbers on artificial structures in coastal waters and develop into dense concentrations of jellyfish-producing polyps. Front Ecol Environ 2013; 11(2): 91-97, doi:10.1890/110246 (published online 7 Sep 2012)

Publication Title

FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Volume

11

Issue

2

First Page

91

Last Page

97

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