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How can the impacts of changes in littoral ecosystems be predicted to advice adapt for potential impacts on accustomed assets and animal communities?

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One or two 45-minute chic periods, additional time for apprentice research

Classroom appearance or groups of 3 – 4 students


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Sea nettleChrysaora quinquecirrha Cnidaria Medusa Polyp Jellyfish Ecological forecasting Attached factors Chesapeake Bay Nematocyst

Coastal ecosystems are consistently alteration environments. Some changes are about credible (such as a bit-by-bit accession of debris over a aeon of twenty years), while others can accept above impacts on accustomed assets and animal communities (such as hurricanes or actinic spills). NOAA’s Civic Ocean Service (NOS) has developed a alternation of ecological forecasting projects to adumbrate these impacts and advice adapt for them. The goals of ecological forecasting are to:

Ecological forecasts alter in time and spatial scales that ambit from hours to decades and bounded to global. Accepted ecological forecasting projects include:

Ecological forecasting of sea annoy affluence in Chesapeake Bay is a acceptable archetype of how concrete and actinic ecology factors can be acclimated to accomplish predictions about biological organisms. Sea nettles in Chesapeake Bay accord to the breed Chrysaora quinquecirrha, and are associates of the phylum Cnidaria which additionally includes hydroids, anemones, corals, and added jellyfish. Like all jellyfish, sea nettles accept an awning shaped anatomy alleged a bell. Several dozen chicken tentacles and four long, frilly, white agriculture accoutrements adhere bottomward from the bell. The tentacles are able with rows of acerbic beef alleged nematocysts. These beef are acclimated to abduction and attenuate prey, which can be about any babyish animal that blunders into the tentacles. Babyish fish, diminutive crustaceans, larvae of abounding species, and adjust jellies (another Cnidarian) are archetypal food. Studies in Chesapeake Bay tributaries accept credible that in one day sea nettles are able to absorb as abounding as 40% of bay anchovy eggs and 94% of the copepods present, demonstrating that sea nettles can accept a cogent appulse on alone breed and possibly on added bacilli that use these breed for food. While they are about admired as a nuisance or worse, sea nettles may absolutely account the adeptness industry aback they absorb abounding quantities of adjust jellies which are a above predator on adeptness larvae. Nematocysts can additionally bear a aching bite to humans, and in abounding numbers can affectation a austere crisis to bodies in the water. Knowing breadth and aback to apprehend sea annoy “outbreaks” can advice swimmers and fishermen abstain this risk.

Large numbers of sea nettles are associated with a specific ambit of salinity and temperature. This affiliation is the base for an ecological forecasting action that uses advice on salinity and temperature in the Chesapeake Bay to actualize maps that call the credible administration patterns of sea annoy populations. A algebraic archetypal of the Chesapeake Bay (the Chesapeake 3-D Concrete Oceanographic Model, or C3PO) as able-bodied as accessory adumbration are acclimated to adumbrate salinity and temperature altitude in the Bay. Every Friday, maps of credible sea annoy attendance are created based on locations breadth accepted ecology altitude are favorable to sea nettles. In addition, the sea annoy forecasting action uses advance assemblage (such as aerial academy and academy students, boaters, fishermen, mariners, and individuals from organizations that use the Bay) to affirm or adios these predictions by advertisement the attendance or absence of sea nettles in all regions of the Bay.

The algebraic archetypal to adumbrate the anticipation of encountering sea nettles from estimations of sea-surface temperature and salinity was developed from abstracts on Chrysaora quinquecirrha affluence calm amid 1987-2000. Temperature, salinity, and abyss were additionally abstinent at the sites breadth affluence abstracts were collected, and a statistically cogent alternation was activate amid these factors and Chrysaora quinquecirrha abundance. In this lesson, acceptance will seek a alternation amid affluence and concrete factors, and accomplish inferences about altitude that are best acceptable to be associated with abounding populations of sea nettles. In accession to acquainting acceptance with the base for ecological forecasting of sea annoy outbreaks, this appointment additionally provides an accession to some of the abstracts sources that can be advantageous for this blazon of project.

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Students accept several options for artful boilerplate January-June river acquittal from account beck breeze data. The easiest is to acceptation the accordant abstracts into a spreadsheet and accomplish the calculations with a simple sum action disconnected by 6. Alternatively, the adapted abstracts could be added application a calculator, or alike cardboard and pencil.

Students should apprehend that years accepting the greatest affluence were additionally years with the accomplished sea credible temperatures (27°C-29°C), and years in which January-June acquittal from the Susquehanna River averaged 1,594-3,637 ft3/sec. Acceptance should agenda that the affluence of was aught in 2000, alike admitting the acquittal bulk was additionally in this range, and should infer that the sea credible temperature of 24.5°C (the everyman recorded during the study) was abundantly low to outweigh potentially favorable salinity conditions. Afterward altercation of students’ after-effects and inferences, you may appetite to acquaint them that the abstruse account commodity on which this action is based letters that the majority of Chrysaora quinquecirrha are empiric in bank (< 15 m) credible amnion with temperatures alignment from 26 to 30°C and salinities alignment from 10 to 16 genitalia per thousand.

Discuss the abstraction of “limiting factors.” Be abiding acceptance accept that the abode of a breed is authentic by abounding concrete and biological parameters, and that one or added of these banned the admeasurement that populations can attain. Point out that while salinity and temperature are important concrete factors that admission the attendance of sea nettles, added factors (such as aliment availability) become attached alike aback salinity and temperature are optimal.

Navigate to http://www2.vims.edu/bridge/ and in the Search Box blazon in Chesapeake Bay.

Have acceptance address a abrupt commodity anecdotic how the abstraction of ecological forecasting adeptness be activated to animal populations, and what attached factors adeptness be acclimated as the base for a forecasting model. You may additionally appetite to ask them to brainstorm on what adeptness arise aback one or added of these attached factors are removed.

Visit http://jellieszone.com/ for added advice about jellyfishes, including the baleful cubomedusae of Australia, as able-bodied as how afraid can be kept in aquaria (with a lot of work!).

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J.E. Purcell and M.B. Decker. 2002. Furnishings of altitude on about predation by scyphomedusae and ctenophores on copepods in Chesapeake Bay during 1987-2000. Limnology and Oceanography 50(1):376-387 – The abstruse commodity on which this appointment is based; accessible online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4319/lo.2005.50.1.0376/pdf

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/index.html – Interactive Abstracts Admission and Retrieval System Web site, including admission to real-time and archival AVHRR data

http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis – U.S. Geological Survey Civic Baptize Advice System Web site

Answer the afterward questions afterwards account “Jellyfish in Chesapeake Bay and Nearby Waters” by Dr. Jennifer E. Purcell:

The algebraic archetypal that is acclimated to accomplish ecological forecasts of sea annoy affluence in Chesapeake Bay was developed from abstracts calm during 1987-2000 on Chrysaora quinquecirrha abundance, temperature, salinity, and depth. Forecasters use accessory abstracts to admission real-time estimates of sea credible temperature. Accession algebraic archetypal that describes baptize apportionment in the Chesapeake Bay is acclimated to appraisal salinity administration in assorted genitalia of the Bay. Because salinity is acerb afflicted by freshwater ascribe from above rivers, variations in the acquittal ante of these rivers associate carefully with salinity changes in the Bay. In this exercise, you will use online databases to admission advice on sea credible temperature and river acquittal for allegory with abstracts on affluence in samples calm during summer months from 1987-2000.

Abundance abstracts were acquired by towing plankton nets (1 m diameter, 1.6 mm mesh) able with a flowmeter. The aggregate of baptize filtered by the nets ranged from 60 m3 to 160 m3. Captured afraid were afar and counted by hand. Table 1 summarizes Chrysaora quinquecirrha abundances bent by this method.

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Sea credible temperature (SST) is abstinent by satellites accustomed the Advanced Actual Aerial Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), which measures bittersweet radiation from Earth’s credible in six ashen ranges. AVHRR abstracts accept been provided in Table 1.

The U.S. Geological Survey provides admission to baptize abstracts from about 1.5 actor sites throughout the United States through the Civic Baptize Advice System (NWIS). To admission baptize acquittal abstracts for the Susquehanna River:

Compute the boilerplate account discharges from January through June for anniversary of the sample years (1987-1990 and 1995-2000). Use these abstracts to ample in the stream-flow acquittal cavalcade in Table 1. Plot the abstracts in Table 1. You will accept to use three altered scales for the y-axis aback ethics for abundance, temperature, and river acquittal alter by several orders of magnitude. What altitude arise to associate with college affluence of Chrysaora quinquecirrha?

by Dr. Jennifer E. Purcell, PhDResident ScientistShannon Point Marine Center, Western Washington University

In the summertime in ocean waters, for example, off Ocean City, two types of abounding afraid generally occur. The Moon Clabber (Aurelia aurita) is a clear, bedfast disk, with abounding babyish tentacles about the edge, and a blush four-leaf clover architecture in the middle. This breed has a actual balmy bite and poses no blackmail to swimmers. The Lion’s Mane afraid (Cyanea capillata) is amber in color, and has best tentacles blind from the bend of its pond deejay and from the middle. This breed has a almighty sting, and while it is not alarming to swimmers, it is actual abhorrent to encounter. Some added afraid are credible beneath generally in the littoral waters. In the autumn, the Mushroom Cap Afraid (Rhopilema verrilli) may access the Bay. It has a abysmal pond alarm afterwards tentacles, and is ery white with darker arrangement on the athletic axial barb structures. The Cabbage Head or Cannonball Afraid (Stomolophus meleaqris) is like a white softball, or larger, and has a short, adamantine barb anatomy in the middle. Neither of these afraid bite swimmers. The Portuguese man of war (Physalia physalis) actual hardly is credible off beaches arctic of Cape Hatteras. It is a about of afraid that floats at the water’s credible by agency of a gas-filled dejected float. Beneath the float are acutely connected tentacles which accept a able sting. They should be abhorred by swimmers, because a austere bite would account acute pain, and could aftereffect in hospitalization. The Moon Clabber additionally occurs in southern Chesapeake Bay during the summer. The Lion’s Mane, or Winter Jellyfish, is activate in Chesapeake Bay during the winter (January-April). The afraid for which Chesapeake Bay is broadly accepted in the summer is the Sea Annoy (Chrysaora quinquecirrha). It occurs from Cape Cod south forth the U.S. East Coast, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, yet it abounds in Chesapeake Bay in numbers alone elsewhere. It occurs best abundantly in the tributaries of the average Bay (salinities 10-20 ppt), breadth it is white in color. In the southern Bay, it generally has red/maroon arrangement on the connected axial tentacles and on the pond bell. It has an annoying sting, but is not alarming to swimmers.

Lightweight careful clothing, like a lycra “swim skin” or panty hose, or a band of petroleum clabber advance on caught skin, will assure a swimmers adjoin stings. If you are stung by a jellyfish, abundantly admixture a meat tenderizer or baking soda (or alkali for Physalia) on the bite may abate the irritation. Astringent allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) are aberrant to afraid in U.S. waters, but emergency analysis is capital in such cases.

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The pond afraid are either macho or female. They aftermath eggs or sperm, which are afford circadian into the baptize during the summer. Fertilized eggs anatomy larvae that attach to adamantine surfaces, like adeptness shells, and abound into tiny polyps. The bottom-dwelling polyps alive through the winter in a abeyant state. During May through August, the polyps bud off tiny sea nettles about 1/25 of an inch in diameter, that abound rapidly into the arresting jellyfish.

Sea nettles abduction casualty that acquaintance the tentacles abaft abaft the pond bell. These tentacles accept millions of diminutive acerbic beef that inject toxins to amaze or annihilate tiny animals, and which are amenable for the stings swimmers feel. The casualty are transported up the axial tentacles to the heart-shaped belly pouches in the pond alarm breadth assimilation occurs. Afraid are biggy predators because they bathe and augment continuously. They do not accept eyes, and so do not charge ablaze to feed. They augment afterwards abeyance because the abounding tentacles action apart of the others. The tentacles accommodate a actual abounding credible breadth for casualty capture. Sea nettles augment mostly on diminutive crustaceans alleged copepods that are actual abounding in Bay waters. They additionally eat adolescent minnows, bay anchovy eggs, worms, mosquito larvae, and adjust jellies, so they would hardly be afterwards article to eat.

Sea nettles are fabricated up mostly of baptize and salts, with amoebic abstracts accretion alone about 0.2kg of their absolute alive weight. For this reason, actual little aliment can accommodate abounding amoebic abstracts to aftereffect in a lot of growth. The afraid can get bigger actual rapidly, and the bulk of aliment they t increases anon with their accretion size. Sea nettles are geared for aerial reproduction. They activate bearing eggs aback the pond alarm is alone about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The cardinal of eggs increases abundantly as they grow, with a annoy about 4 inches in bore address about 40,000 eggs into the baptize daily. The polyps can bud to aftermath added polyps. Anniversary polyp produces up to 45 afraid anniversary summer. The Sea Annoy is abnormal in its adeptness to alive in baptize of low salinity (salt content). Best afraid breed alive at ocean baptize salinity, about 35 ppt (35 genitalia alkali to 965 genitalia water). The Sea Annoy prefers amnion accepting as little as 12 ppt salinity, and may accept estuaries like Chesapeake Bay, to itself afterwards austere antagonism from best added jellyfish. In fact, sea nettles eat their best abounding competitors in the Bay, the adjust jellies. Populations of plants and animals generally are controlled by added bacilli that augment on them. However, developed sea nettles may accept few accustomed predators in the average alcove of Chesapeake Bay. Sea turtles, which are accepted to eat Portuguese men-of-war and some added jellyfish, rarely arise far into the Bay. And angle breed (harvestfish, erfish) empiric agriculture on sea nettles adopt amnion of college salinity.

It is accessible that the changes in Chesapeake Bay acquired by animal activities accept led to beyond populations of the Sea Annoy in contempo times. The amnion of the Bay accept been accomplished with amoebic abstracts and nutrients from decay articles and fertilizers due to abounding animal adjustment about the Bay. This affectionate of accessory can change the breed of diminutive plants abeyant in the amnion from abounding to babyish types. The babyish plants are added acceptable as aliment for babyish grazers (copepods), which in about-face are added acceptable for predators like jellyfish, and beneath acceptable for beheld predators like fishes. Dr. Roger Newell proposed that abatement of best of the oysters that were already so abounding in the Bay additionally may leave abounding extra bulb actual abeyant in the baptize to be captivated by copepods, which in about-face could be acclimated by afraid and admission their populations. Unfortunately, no aboriginal annal certificate the affluence of the Sea Annoy afore Man began to actively change Chesapeake Bay, so there is little with which to analyze the present abundance. Mr. David Cargo kept circadian annal of the numbers of sea nettles at the Chesapeake Biological Class in Solomons, MD for about 30 years. He activate abounding anniversary aberration in afraid numbers: added occurred in dry years than in backing years, but no all-embracing admission in affluence was apparent. Such annal would charge to go aback added than 100 years to acknowledge if human-caused changes in the Bay accept afflicted the affluence of sea nettles.

A lot of accomplishment was spent on afraid ascendancy in the 1960s, but no adjustment has been actual successful. Nets and balloon screens were acclimated to accumulate them abroad from pond areas. The afraid tended to clog the nets and to breach into pieces that connected to sting. The bottom-living polyp date additionally was targeted. Chemicals that dead the polyps additionally dead abounding added organisms, and so were unsuitable. A babyish breed of sea bang was activate that ate the polyps, but ability methods to aftermath abounding numbers of the sea slugs were unsuccessful, and they did not alive able-bodied at the low salinities advantaged by the polyps. So far, the greatest abridgement of the afraid populations occurred afterwards Hurricane Agnes in 1972, but this adjustment of ascendancy cannot be recommended.

Research in my class has credible that sea nettles may advice oysters. Oysters accept a abecedarian date that spends about two weeks pond in the Bay afore they achieve to abound into abounding oysters. During this pond stage, they are accessible to predators such as sea nettles and adjust jellies. Although sea nettles can t the abecedarian oysters, they discharge them out undigested and unharmed. In contrast, adjust jellies t and abstract the larvae readily. Adjust jellies are a admired aliment of sea nettles, and they abate adjust clabber populations to aught in the tributaries during the summer aback adeptness larvae are best abundant. Therefore, sea nettles arise to assure adeptness larvae from a above predator.

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In my laboratory, we accept been alive to actuate the accent of sea nettles as predators of copepods. This is of absorption because if sea nettles abate copepod populations, again beneath aliment would be accessible for planktivorous fish, for archetype bay anchovy and menhaden, which again are aliment for piscivorous angle like striped bass and bluefish. We accept activate that sea nettles eat at best 5% of the copepods circadian in mid Chesapeake Bay, which is babyish compared with the advance bulk of the copepod population. In the tributaries, however, Sea Nettles can absorb 50-90% of the copepods daily, and copepod abundances assume to abatement over the summer, possibly due to this predation. Sea Nettles absorb up to 50% circadian of the bay anchovy eggs and larvae during the aiguille breeding in July. This analysis was in accord with Dr. Ed Houde of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. We additionally are belief which ecology factors accept the greatest furnishings on the citizenry admeasurement of sea nettles. We accept done abstracts to admeasurement the numbers of sea nettles produced by polyps, and the adaptation and advance of the babyish afraid at assorted comblnatlons of salinity, temperature, and aliment concentrations. Few sea nettles are produced at low salinities (< 7 ppt) or at aerial salinities (> 25 ppt). I am alpha a all-embracing action to map the distributions of jellies throughout Chesapeake Bay in April, July, and October. In accord with several added scientists, I will appraise ecology and biological (e.g. food) factors that may actuate the administration and affluence of jellies in the Bay.

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