Title: Portuguese Man-of-War (Physalia physalis) in the Mediterranean: A permanent invasion or a casual appearance?
Citation: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS vol. 5:11545 p. 1.7
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC93150
ISSN: 2045-2322
URI: http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150625/srep11545/full/srep11545.html
DOI: 10.1038/srep11545
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In 2010, the Mediterranean basin experienced a Portuguese Man-of-War (Physalia physalis) outburst that had dramatic consequences, including the first ever recorded human mortality attributed to a jellyfish sting in the region. However, and despite the impact of jellyfishes on coastal economic activities and the importance of the tourism industry for the Mediterranean region (accounting for 15 % of global tourism), no scientific consensus has been achieved so far regarding the causes of this episode. Here we analyze the meteorological and oceanographic conditions of the North East Atlantic Ocean during the months previous to P. physalis appearance in the Mediterranean. We simulate the probable drift of Atlantic populations into the Mediterranean basin with a numerical model and compare model results with available observations. We conclude that the summer 2010 P. Physalis presence was the result of an unusual combination of meteorological and oceanographic conditions during the previous winter and not a permanent invasion favored by climatic changes.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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