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Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 5, pp 935–957 | Cite as

Recent distribution and size structure of gelatinous organisms in the southern Black Sea and their interactions with fish catches

  • Erhan Mutlu
Original Paper

Abstract

The spatial distributions of gelatinous organism were studied during three cruises in 2006–2007. These were the first such studies conducted in the southern Black Sea for last decade. Additionally, the different methods of estimating gelatinous organism biomass presently in use were compared and recent situation of pelagic fishery interacting with zooplankton in the Black Sea were overviewed. Biomasses and abundances of both invading Mnemiopsis leidyi, and the resident Aurelia aurita and Pleurobrachia pileus were remarkably reduced (total gelatinous biomass: 417–537 g m−2 in May, June, and 150 g m−2 in October) as compared with those before the 1997 with invasion Beroe ovata in the southern Black Sea. Specimens of B. ovata were detected only in October when individuals with lengths of 10–50 mm comprised 93% of its population. Length–weight based biomasses were significantly variable for all species depending on the size structure in time. Larger sized individuals (>30 mm) of M. leidyi appeared as compared with those before year 1997. The ecosystem of the Black Sea has been suppressed both bottom–up through decreased eutrophication and top–down through reduced grazing on mesozooplankton by M. leidyi that are in turn controlled by grazing by B. ovata. The catch of anchovy was abruptly reduced to 120,000 tons due presumably to the considerably increased catch of its predator, the bonito (64,000 tons) in the year 2005.

Keywords

Biomass Anticyclonic Eddy Gelatinous Zooplankton Southwestern Area Southeastern Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was funded with the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and carried out within framework of a project TUBITAK CAYDAG-104Y289 “Assessment of the present state of the Black Sea ecosystem and forecasting its future behavior”. My thanks also go to Sengul Besiktepe, Funda Ustun, Billur Celebi, and Hasan Orek for helping me in sampling and logging the data at the sea, as well as crew of R/V Bilim of IMS-METU. I thank Carin Ashjian, Jessica R Frost and two anonymous referees for giving valuable suggestions in various ways and for correcting the English of this manuscript.

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© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Institute of Marine Sciences and TechnologyDokuz Eylul UniversityIzmirTurkey

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