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On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean
Gershwin, Lisa-Ann (Book - 2013)
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Our oceans are becoming increasingly inhospitable to life--growing toxicity and rising temperatures coupled with overfishing have led many marine species to the brink of collapse. And yet there is one creature that is thriving in this seasick environment: the beautiful, dangerous, and now incredibly numerous jellyfish. As foremost jellyfish expert Lisa-ann Gershwin describes in Stung!, the jellyfish population bloom is highly indicative of the tragic state of the world's ocean waters, while also revealing the incredible tenacity of these remarkable creatures. Recent documentaries about swarms of giant jellyfish invading Japanese fishing grounds and summertime headlines about armadas of stinging jellyfish in the Mediterranean and Chesapeake are only the beginning--jellyfish are truly taking over the oceans. Despite their often dazzling appearance, jellyfish are simple creatures with simple needs: namely, fewer predators and competitors, warmer waters to encourage rapid growth, and more places for their larvae to settle and grow. In general, oceans that are less favorable to fish are more favorable to jellyfish, and these are the very conditions that we are creating through mechanized trawling, habitat degradation, coastal construction, pollution, and climate change. Despite their role as harbingers of marine destruction, jellyfish are truly enthralling creatures in their own right, and in Stung! , Gershwin tells stories of jellyfish both attractive and deadly while illuminating many interesting and unusual facts about their behaviors and environmental adaptations. She takes readers back to the Proterozoic era, when jellyfish were the top predator in the marine ecosystem--at a time when there were no fish, no mammals, and no turtles; and she explores the role jellies have as middlemen of destruction, moving swiftly into vulnerable ecosystems. The story of the jellyfish, as Gershwin makes clear, is also the story of the world's oceans, and Stung! provides a unique and urgent look at their inseparable histories--and future.
Authors: Gershwin, Lisa-Ann
Title: Stung!
on jellyfish blooms and the future of the ocean
Publisher: Chicago :, The University of Chicago Press,, 2013
Characteristics: xiv, 424 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates :,color illustrations ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Lisa-Ann Gershwin ; with a foreword by Sylvia Earle
Contents: Jellyfish behaving badly
At the mercy of jellyfish
Some astonishing ecological impacts
Jellyfish completely out of control
Jellyfish, planetary doom, and other trivia
Jellyfish: the basics
Overview of ecosystem perturbations
Overfishing: a powerful agent of ecosystem change
Eutrophication almost always leads to jellyfish
Pollution destabilizes ecosystems
Biopollution: the twelfth plague
Climate change changes everything
The weeds shall inherit the earth
The allee effect, trophic cascades, and shifting baselines
The jellyfish double whammy
High-energy and low-energy ecosystems
The oceans are dying to tell us something
Ocean acidification: the "new" problem
The rise of slime
Additional Contributors: Earle, Sylvia A. 1935-
ISBN: 022602010X
Branch Call Number: 593.53 G381s 2013
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 371-408) and index
Subject Headings: Marine ecology Jellyfishes Ecology Jellyfish blooms
Topical Term: Marine ecology
Jellyfish blooms
LCCN: 2012043147
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From Library Staff

Jellyfish are simple creatures with simple needs. Thanks to humankind, the oceans of the world are increasing in toxicity and temperature - a perfect storm that is helping jellyfish experience a bloom unprecedented in human history.

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