Biogeography and phenology of the jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in southern European seas - Université de Montpellier Accéder directement au contenu
Article Dans Une Revue Global Ecology and Biogeography Année : 2021

Biogeography and phenology of the jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in southern European seas


Aim Global anthropogenic changes have altered biogeography and phenology of marine populations, thereby promoting a spatial reconfiguration in the functioning of marine ecosystems. Among these changes, massive proliferations of jellyfish in temperate latitudes warn of potential alterations in biogeochemical fluxes, ecosystems’ structure and assets, and the services they provide to human welfare. Understanding driving factors shaping large-scale patterns of jellyfish proliferations is a pressing need in global ecology and sustainability science. Using a comprehensive dataset of the largest blooming scyphomedusae in southern European seas we test, over broad space–time scales, current hypotheses relating jellyfish dynamics to warming and eutrophication. Location Southern European seas. Time period 1875–2019. Major taxa studied Rhizostoma pulmo. Methods We have gathered historical and contemporaneous records of R. pulmo from the Mediterranean and Black Seas over the last two centuries (7,359 records). Generalized statistical models were used to assess the influence of thermal (latitudinal) and productivity (longitudinal) gradients on the biogeographical patterns, and the species’ phenology at large and regional scales. Results Rhizostoma pulmo abundance exhibited an enhanced magnitude and frequency in recent decades, concurrently with positive temperature anomalies. We found that the latitudinal temperature gradient, but not productivity, shaped long-term bloom intensity and biogeographical patterns of the species. Our analysis further uncovered a significant effect of the interannual variability of spring temperature on the species’ phenology over the period 2008–2018, with warmer springs favouring an earlier start (c. 3 months) and a longer duration (from 5 to 7 months) of jellyfish season. Main conclusions Among the current hypotheses linking jellyfish changes with anthropogenic disturbances, only the warming-based hypothesis gained support over wide space–time scales, while the eutrophication-based hypothesis mainly applied at local scales. Hence, biogeographical patterns of R. pulmo are shaped by the latitudinal temperature gradient, while the species bloom dynamics echo variations in ecoregion thermal regimes.
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Dates et versions

hal-03413626 , version 1 (03-11-2021)



Valentina Leoni, Delphine Bonnet, Eduardo Ramírez-Romero, Juan Carlos Molinero. Biogeography and phenology of the jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in southern European seas. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 2021, 30 (3), pp.622--639. ⟨10.1111/geb.13241⟩. ⟨hal-03413626⟩
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