Climate change could significantly alter distribution of jellyfish and other gelatinous zooplankton in the Arctic Ocean

Gelatinous zooplankton, including jellyfish and other nearly transparent organisms, play an important role in marine ecosystems. Its population and distribution are expected to change significantly due to climate change.New research published in Limnology and Oceanography We investigate their fate in the Arctic Ocean, one of the fastest warming oceans on Earth.

The researchers combined the three-dimensional species distribution model with oceanographic variables from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6. This analysis allowed the research team to identify species of gelatinous zooplankton whose ranges will expand or contract in response to climate change in the Arctic Ocean.

Seven of the eight species modeled are predicted to move further north in response to changing ocean conditions. The impact of these changes on Arctic fish populations and overall ecosystem dynamics requires further investigation.

“Our findings reveal the dramatic potential for climate change to reshape the Arctic Ocean ecosystem,” said corresponding author, Professor of Medicine at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research and the University of Bremen, Germany. said Dmitrii Pantiukhin, a postdoctoral researcher at . “These changes in gelatinous zooplankton populations can have cascading effects throughout the food web.”

For more information:
Pan-Arctic distribution modeling reveals poleward shifts of key gelatinous zooplankton species due to climate change. Limnology and Oceanography (2024). DOI: 10.1002/lno.12568

Magazine information:
Limnology and Oceanography

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