Role of jellyfish in the plankton ecosystem revealed using a global ocean biogeochemical model
Le Quere, C
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Jellyfish are increasingly recognised as important components of the marine ecosystem, yet their specific role is poorly defined compared to that of other zooplankton groups. This paper presents the first global ocean biogeochemical model that includes an explicit representation of jellyfish and uses the model to gain insight into the influence of jellyfish on the plankton community. The Plankton Type Ocean Model (PlankTOM11) model groups organisms into plankton functional types (PFTs). The jellyfish PFT is parameterised here based on our synthesis of observations on jellyfish growth, grazing, respiration and mortality rates as functions of temperature and jellyfish biomass. The distribution of jellyfish is unique compared to that of other PFTs in the model. The jellyfish global biomass of 0.13 PgC is within the observational range and comparable to the biomass of other zooplankton and phytoplankton PFTs.