JeDI in the Ocean…Not Outerspace

Written by on June 2, 2014 in Jellyfish, Marine Life

The world’s first jellyfish database is here.

Jellyfish are found in all the world's oceans.

Jellyfish are found in all the world’s oceans. Photo credit: Nicolas Hoizey via photopin cc.

An international study led to the creation of the Jellyfish Database Initiative (JeDI), which was launched last month. It currently holds over 476,000 data items on jellyfish and other gelatinous creatures.

JeDI is designed to map jellyfish populations in the oceans in order to fill the gaps in our knowledge of population trends and subsequent impacts on the environment. It also serves as a hub for general information on jellyfish populations for anyone to explore.

“With this resource, anyone can use JeDI to address questions about the spatial and temporal extent of jellyfish populations at local, regional and global scales, and the potential implications for ecosystem services and biogeochemical processes,” Dr. Rob Condon of the University of North Carolina Wilmington said in a news release.

Researchers mapped jellyfish biomass in the upper 200m of the oceans and learned that jellyfish and other gelatinous zooplankton are found throughout the world’s oceans, with the greatest concentrations in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. They also determined that dissolved oxygen and sea surface temperatures were the primary factors influencing the distribution of jellyfish in the North Atlantic Ocean.

“If jellyfish biomass does increase in the future, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, this may influence the abundance and biodiversity of zooplankton and phytoplankton, having a knock-on effect on ecosystem functioning, biogeochemical cycling and fish biomass,” Dr. Condon said. Now, those changes will be tracked on JeDI, keeping everyone more informed.

To learn more:

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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