SS4.04 The Relevance of Gelatinous Zooplankton to Interdisciplinary Linkages
Date: Friday, June 14, 2002
Time: 10:45:00 AM
Location: Saanich
 
DeckerMB, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA, marybeth.decker@yale.edu
Brown, C, W, Office of Research and Applications, NOAA, Camp Springs, MD, USA, Christopher.W.Brown@noaa.gov
Hood, R, R, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, MD, USA, raleigh@hpl.umces.edu
Purcell, J, E, Shannon Point Marine Center, Anacortes, WA, USA, purcell@hpl.umces.edu
 
DEFINING THE HABITAT AND PREDICTING THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE SCYPHOMEDUSA, CHRYSAORA QUINQUECIRRHA, IN CHESAPEAKE BAY.
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Jellyfish blooms are important events controlling plankton dynamics in coastal waters worldwide, yet factors that influence bloom development are not well understood. We used the scyphomedusa, Chrysaora quinquecirrha, as a model system to examine physical factors that control jellyfish populations. Over 1000 in situ observations were used to develop a habitat model that predicts the probability of encounter with and density of medusae as a function of sea-surface temperature and salinity. Medusae were found within a relatively narrow range of temperature (26-30 C) and salinity (10-16 psu). Regression analyses reveal that a combination of temperature and salinity is a good predictor of medusae occurrence. Coupling our model with satellite- and model-derived data on temperature and salinity generates weekly nowcasts of Chrysaora distributions by identifying locations where conditions coincide with their preferred habitat. Validation of our model and determination of additional variables likely to influence Chrysaora will allow more accurate predictions of medusae distributions. Retrospective examinations of Chrysaora distributions with respect to climate may determine how climate changes may affect future medusae distributions.