Do Staurozoa bloom? A review of stauromedusan population biology
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The study of “jellyfish blooms” provides important data toward determining the causes and consequences of these phenomena; however, the definition of “bloom” remains controversial and different concepts have been adopted in recent works. By addressing the biological and convenience definitions, this study tested the adequacy of the different concepts of “blooms” for the Class Staurozoa (Cnidaria). From seasonal monitoring data of some species of Staurozoa, we concluded that stauromedusae bloom if we used the biological concept of “bloom”, which considers the life cycle and resulting changes in the abundances of these animals. By contrast, the small, benthic, inconspicuous, and non-harmful stauromedusae do not bloom if we use the convenience concept of “bloom”, which constrains the events to those that humans can observe and that cause damage to human activities. In other words, the same group of organisms either is or is not capable of blooming depending on which concept of “bloom” is used. In fact, previous literature has suggested that Staurozoa could not bloom, which indicates that the study of “jellyfish blooms” can be biased, considering convenience rather than biological reasoning.
KeywordsStauromedusae Seasonality Life cycle Evolution
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We are grateful to the reviewers, C. E. Mills, M. N. Dawson, and editors, whose comments improved this paper and A. G. Collins for his comments on a previous abstract. We also thank the organizers of the 3rd International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium. L. S. Miranda was supported by CNPq (142270/2010-5) and FAPESP (2010/07362-7). A. C. Morandini was supported by CNPq (490158/2009-9) and FAPESP (2010/50174-7). A. C. Marques was supported by CNPq (557333/2005-9; 490348/2006-8; 474672/2007-7; 304720/2009-7; 563106/2010-7; 562143/2010-6) and FAPESP (2003/02432-3; 2004/09961-4; 2010/52324-6).
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