CIESM Workshop Series, n°14:
Gelatinous zooplankton outbreaks: theory and practice
In recent years massive outbreaks of gelatinous species, such as Aurelia aurita or Pelagia noctiluca (in the Mediterranean) and Mnemiopsis leidyi (in the Black Sea), have attracted much public atttention. However, since gelatinous outbreaks are often sporadic and of short duration, they tend to catch the scientific community off guard and discourage systematic long term studies. This, added to major difficulties in sampling and culturing these fragile organisms, limits our current understanding of the triggering conditions, dynamics and ecological impact of such events. Many "basic" questions remain a matter of debate. For instance the time/space scale of such episodes; the extent to which gelatinous outbreaks are favoured by climatic triggers, physical forcing, or disequilibrium conditions linked with eutrophication and/or overfishing; the design of appropriate data sets and monitoring protocols. Among the many unresolved challenges confronting researchers, the tasks of tracking the complex life stages of these organisms, identifying their function in benthic-planktonic coupling, and assessing their proper role and importance in food web models, are not the least.
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I - Executive summary
II - Workshop communications
- Topology and dynamics of plankton networks: are pelagic ecosystems robust?
- The effects of physics on the distribution of plankton at various scales.
- Physico-biological coupling and plankton blooms: a modelling approach.
2 - Tunicate outbreaks
- Changes in pelagic tunicate abundance and possible ecological consequences.
- Aggregations and outbreaks of appendicularians
- Interannual variations of some species of gelatinous zooplankton (Siphonophora and Thaliacea) in a coastal long-term series in the North-Western Mediterranean
3 - Jellyfish outbreaks
- Jellyfish outbreaks: natural cycle or stress response effect?
- Erratic fluctuations in abundance of medusoid and cnetophores populations in two systems, Ligurian Sea and Benguela ecosystem: some examples.
- Are irregular plankton phenomena getting more frequent in the northern Adriatic Sea?
- Past and present anthropogenic factors promoting the invasion, colonization and dominance by jellyfish of a Spanish coastal lagoon.
4 - Black Sea: Mnemiopsis et al. ...
- Impact of the invaders ctenophores Mnemiopsis leidyi and Beroe ovata on the pelagic
food web and biodiversity of the Black Sea.
- The catastrophic invasion of the Black Sea by Mnemiopsis leidyi: is it only doing what
other ctenophores did long ago?
- Opportunistic lifestyles of the gelatinous and abundant: what gives a species "the right stuff"?
III - Bibliographic references
IV - List of participants