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The utility of jellyfish as marine biomonitors
Marine Pollution Bulletin  (IF5.553),  Pub Date : 2021-10-20, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113056
Michelle A. Templeman, Madeline R. McKenzie, Michael J. Kingsford

Jellyfish are abundant in coastal waters across broad latitudinal ranges and are often considered pests and a group that can cause phase shifts in marine ecosystems. Recent studies have highlighted their potential as biomonitors of contaminants including metals, herbicides and nutrients. Traditionally, sedentary organisms like molluscs and annelid worms have been used, but some jellyfish have similar characteristics of localised distributions and in some cases sedentary behaviour. Broad gradients in contaminant accumulation have been shown for a number of planktonic jellyfish species. An alternative biomonitoring candidate is the tropical/sub-tropical upside-down jellyfish (Cassiopea spp.). In laboratory and field deployments, Cassiopea accumulate measurable contaminants over days to weeks, making them ideal for detecting short-term pulses. Furthermore, the decay curve of contaminants varies temporally post-exposure and contaminant type. This can provide an estimate of the timing of exposure. Cassiopea, along with other jellyfish, have the potential to be an interesting and valuable group of organisms for monitoring coastal impacts.