Large jellyfish blooms are appearing around coastal areas around the world. The influx of blooms are not only annoying to tourists and fisherman alike, but they are also affecting the food chain. The jellyfish are eating in large amounts of plankton, but they “chain” stops there, because not many other animals prey on jellies. Fish would otherwise be eating this plankton. The jellies are “restricting the transfer of energy” resulting in lost carbon energy. If this continues, and the jellies keep consumer more zooplankton, phytoplankton, then the fish will not have enough to consume. What causes these blooms: increasing climate change, over fishing, fertilizer runoff and other factors.
“Marine bacteria typically play a key role in recycling carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and other by-products of organic decay back into the food web,” says Virginia Institute of Marine Science graduate, Rob Condon. “But in our study, we found that when bacteria consumed dissolved organic matter from jellyfish they shunted it toward respiration rather than growth.”
Is there any way we can prevent such large blooms?
information source: http://www.macroevolution.net/jellyfish-swarms.html