Associations of large jellyfish distributions with temperature and salinity in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea

  • Fang Zhang
  • Song SunEmail author
  • Xianshi Jin
  • Chaolun Li
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 220)


Climate change may contribute to the increasing frequency and intensity of jellyfish blooms around the world. To test the null hypotheses that distributions did not differ among species of jellyfish or according to temperature salinity, we sampled large jellyfishes using bottom trawl surveys during 2006–2007 in the Yellow Sea (YS) and East China Sea (ECS). The total biomass of large jellyfish in the YS was low in April 2006 in cool waters, increased with warming waters, peaked in early September 2006 (22,891 ± 25,888 kg km–2), and then decreased with cooling to minimal biomass during March 2007. During its peak early September 2006, Nemopilema nomurai was relatively eurythermal and distributed throughout the YS. Cyanea spp. occurred in warmer waters and attained maximum biomass in May 2007 in the ECS. Ulmaridae, which preferred colder temperatures, reached maximum biomass in October 2006 and occurred mainly in the central YS. Aequorea spp. usually occurred in colder waters, with maximum biomass in May 2007 mainly north of 30°N. Our analyses suggest that environmental preferences of the large jellyfish may enable prediction of jellyfish population sizes and distributions in Chinese waters, which is essential in order to address ecological problems caused by large jellyfish blooms in East Asia Waters.


Nemopilema nomurai Cyaneanozakii Jellyfish bloom Species composition Medusae Biomass 


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We thank Dr. D. Huang and Dr. H. Wei for contributing CTD data. We are grateful to the captain and crew of the RV “Beidou” for their efforts in the field and to the people who provided support in our sampling. We also thank the reviewers and editors for their suggested improvements to the manuscript. Funding for this research was provided by the national key fundamental developing projects Nos. 2011CB403601 and 2006CB400606 to S. Sun, NSFC project No. 40606036 to F. Zhang, and public science and technology research funds projects of ocean No. 201005018 to C. Li.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Yellow Sea Fisheries Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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