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Gelatinous zooplankton biomass in the global oceans: geographic variation and environmental drivers

Gelatinous zooplankton biomass in the global oceans: geographic variation and environmental drivers
Gelatinous zooplankton biomass in the global oceans: geographic variation and environmental drivers
Aim:
Scientific debate regarding the future trends, and subsequent ecological, biogeochemical and societal impacts, of gelatinous zooplankton (GZ) in a changing ocean is hampered by lack of a global baseline and an understanding of the causes of biogeographic patterns. We address this by using a new global database of GZ records to test hypotheses relating to environmental drivers of biogeographic variation in the multidecadal baseline of epipelagic GZ biomass in the world's oceans.

Location:
Global oceans.

Methods:
Over 476,000 global GZ data and metadata items were assembled from a variety of published and unpublished sources. From this, a total of 91,765 quantitative abundance data items from 1934 to 2011 were converted to carbon biomass using published biometric equations and species-specific average sizes. Total GZ, Cnidaria, Ctenophora and Chordata (Thaliacea) biomass was mapped into 5° grid cells and environmental drivers of geographic variation were tested using spatial linear models.

Results:
We present JeDI (the Jellyfish Database Initiative), a publically accessible database available at http://jedi.nceas.ucsb.edu. We show that: (1) GZ are present throughout the world's oceans; (2) the global geometric mean and standard deviation of total gelatinous biomass is 0.53?±?16.16?mg C m?3, corresponding to a global biomass of 38.3 Tg C in the mixed layer of the ocean; (3) biomass of all gelatinous phyla is greatest in the subtropical and boreal Northern Hemisphere; and (4) within the North Atlantic, dissolved oxygen, apparent oxygen utilization and sea surface temperature are the principal drivers of biomass distribution.

Main conclusions:
JeDI is a unique global dataset of GZ taxa which will provide a benchmark against which future observations can be compared and shifting baselines assessed. The presence of GZ throughout the world's oceans and across the complete global spectrum of environmental variables indicates that evolution has delivered a range of species able to adapt to all available ecological niches.
Cnidaria, Ctenophora, environmental drivers, geographic trends, global ocean, JeDI, jellyfish blooms, macroecology, Thaliacea
1466-822X
701-714
Lucas, Cathy H.
521743e3-b250-4c6b-b084-780af697d6bf
Jones, Daniel O.B.
44fc07b3-5fb7-4bf5-9cec-78c78022613a
Hollyhead, Catherine J.
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Condon, Robert H.
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Duarte, Carlos M.
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Graham, William M.
3c47f77d-ef03-41eb-b4dd-3f4f65c80e39
Robinson, Kelly L.
4fc625d4-e811-45c6-aaed-a076aa1906e1
Pitt, Kylie A.
5aa1bb5c-3ee9-4b32-b27f-1f3373989148
Schildhauer, Mark
84a1983a-18a8-4c4d-9b0a-2d797f16c6fd
Regetz, Jim
39b56649-bc68-48b0-81cb-cee4389f032c
Lucas, Cathy H.
521743e3-b250-4c6b-b084-780af697d6bf
Jones, Daniel O.B.
44fc07b3-5fb7-4bf5-9cec-78c78022613a
Hollyhead, Catherine J.
0a669627-a260-4626-b775-d69486e7c963
Condon, Robert H.
f4038285-21fd-46b9-b07b-0ae0d76cfe86
Duarte, Carlos M.
5d2e9d27-adc6-41bf-9838-f9e702eff0eb
Graham, William M.
3c47f77d-ef03-41eb-b4dd-3f4f65c80e39
Robinson, Kelly L.
4fc625d4-e811-45c6-aaed-a076aa1906e1
Pitt, Kylie A.
5aa1bb5c-3ee9-4b32-b27f-1f3373989148
Schildhauer, Mark
84a1983a-18a8-4c4d-9b0a-2d797f16c6fd
Regetz, Jim
39b56649-bc68-48b0-81cb-cee4389f032c

Lucas, Cathy H., Jones, Daniel O.B., Hollyhead, Catherine J., Condon, Robert H., Duarte, Carlos M., Graham, William M., Robinson, Kelly L., Pitt, Kylie A., Schildhauer, Mark and Regetz, Jim (2014) Gelatinous zooplankton biomass in the global oceans: geographic variation and environmental drivers. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23 (7), 701-714. (doi:10.1111/geb.12169).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aim:
Scientific debate regarding the future trends, and subsequent ecological, biogeochemical and societal impacts, of gelatinous zooplankton (GZ) in a changing ocean is hampered by lack of a global baseline and an understanding of the causes of biogeographic patterns. We address this by using a new global database of GZ records to test hypotheses relating to environmental drivers of biogeographic variation in the multidecadal baseline of epipelagic GZ biomass in the world's oceans.

Location:
Global oceans.

Methods:
Over 476,000 global GZ data and metadata items were assembled from a variety of published and unpublished sources. From this, a total of 91,765 quantitative abundance data items from 1934 to 2011 were converted to carbon biomass using published biometric equations and species-specific average sizes. Total GZ, Cnidaria, Ctenophora and Chordata (Thaliacea) biomass was mapped into 5° grid cells and environmental drivers of geographic variation were tested using spatial linear models.

Results:
We present JeDI (the Jellyfish Database Initiative), a publically accessible database available at http://jedi.nceas.ucsb.edu. We show that: (1) GZ are present throughout the world's oceans; (2) the global geometric mean and standard deviation of total gelatinous biomass is 0.53?±?16.16?mg C m?3, corresponding to a global biomass of 38.3 Tg C in the mixed layer of the ocean; (3) biomass of all gelatinous phyla is greatest in the subtropical and boreal Northern Hemisphere; and (4) within the North Atlantic, dissolved oxygen, apparent oxygen utilization and sea surface temperature are the principal drivers of biomass distribution.

Main conclusions:
JeDI is a unique global dataset of GZ taxa which will provide a benchmark against which future observations can be compared and shifting baselines assessed. The presence of GZ throughout the world's oceans and across the complete global spectrum of environmental variables indicates that evolution has delivered a range of species able to adapt to all available ecological niches.

Text
Lucas et al 2014 post print.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 22 April 2014
Published date: July 2014
Keywords: Cnidaria, Ctenophora, environmental drivers, geographic trends, global ocean, JeDI, jellyfish blooms, macroecology, Thaliacea
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Biogeochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 364395
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/364395
ISSN: 1466-822X
PURE UUID: 35ca7fe3-cb9a-4ef4-a77a-0dd2d136102b
ORCID for Cathy H. Lucas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5929-7481

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Apr 2014 15:11
Last modified: 17 Sep 2019 01:08

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Contributors

Author: Cathy H. Lucas ORCID iD
Author: Daniel O.B. Jones
Author: Catherine J. Hollyhead
Author: Robert H. Condon
Author: Carlos M. Duarte
Author: William M. Graham
Author: Kelly L. Robinson
Author: Kylie A. Pitt
Author: Mark Schildhauer
Author: Jim Regetz

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