Gelatinous zooplankton: Overlooked player in marine food webs, favoured under global change? (39614)

Project Details

Description

Drifting organisms in the ocean, plankton, lay the foundation for marine ecosystem productivity and their resilience to human induced perturbations. Lately, gelatinous zooplankton organisms, especially jellyfish, have raised large public attention as they are regarded to be winners of global change, negatively impacting coastal ecosystems and human welfare while being deemed a dead end in the food chain. However, the scientific knowledge-base supporting these paradigms is weak and, in general, gelatinous zooplankton are disregarded in marine food web studies. 

This project aims to investigate the role and future potential of jellyfish and other gelatinous zooplankton organisms. The project applies an inter-disciplinary approach and utilizes the excellent infrastructure and expertise present at DTU Aqua as well as internationally.  

The results are expected to elucidate i) the role of gelatinous zooplankton in tropical to arctic ecosystems and the impact of natural predators such as fish on jellyfish abundances,  ii) if indeed native and invasive jellyfish are on a rise and whether this is related to global change-induced pressures, and iii) the potential of gelatinous plankton to adapt to changing environmental conditions. 

The results will fill critical gaps in our understanding of species interactions, their response to future pressures and productivity of marine food webs leading to a new synthesis about global change effects on marine environment.

Funding
The project is funded by Villum Foundation as a Villum Young Investigators personal grant to Dr. Cornelia Jaspers.

Research area: Marine Populations and Ecosystem Dynamics
StatusActive
Effective start/end date23/01/201922/01/2024

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