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| Last Updated:19/10/2019

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World's first jellyfish database created

 LONDON: Jellyfish and other gelatinous zooplankton are present throughout the world's oceans, with the greatest concentrations in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere, showed the scientists who created the world's first global jellyfish database. 

In the North Atlantic Ocean, dissolved oxygen and sea surface temperature were found to be the principal drivers of jellyfish biomass distribution. 

Scientists used the Jellyfish Database Initiative, or JeDI, to map jellyfish biomass in the upper 200m of the world's oceans and explore the underlying environmental causes driving the observed patterns of distribution. 

"The successful development of this first global scale database of jellyfish records by the Global Jellyfish Group was due, in large part, to the incredible generosity of members in the international jellyfish research and wider scientific communities," said Cathy Lucas, a marine biologist from University of Southampton in Britain. 

"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," Rob Condon of University of North Carolina Wilmington in the US explained. 

The spatial analysis carried out by the researchers is an essential first step in the establishment of a consistent database of gelatinous presence from which future trends can be assessed and hypotheses tested, particularly those relating multiple regional and global drivers of jellyfish biomass. 

JeDI is the first scientifically-coordinated global-scale database of jellyfish records, and currently holds over 476,000 data items on jellyfish and other gelatinous taxa. 

The findings appeared in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.