Recent distribution and size structure of gelatinous organisms in the southern Black Sea and their interactions with fish catches

Mutlu E.

MARINE BIOLOGY, vol.156, no.5, pp.935-957, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 156 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00227-009-1139-8
  • Journal Name: MARINE BIOLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.935-957
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: No


The spatial distributions of gelatinous organism were studied during three cruises in 2006-2007. These were the first such studies conducted in the southern Black Sea for last decade. Additionally, the different methods of estimating gelatinous organism biomass presently in use were compared and recent situation of pelagic fishery interacting with zooplankton in the Black Sea were overviewed. Biomasses and abundances of both invading Mnemiopsis leidyi, and the resident Aurelia aurita and Pleurobrachia pileus were remarkably reduced (total gelatinous biomass: 417-537 g m(-2) in May, June, and 150 g m(-2) in October) as compared with those before the 1997 with invasion Beroe ovata in the southern Black Sea. Specimens of B. ovata were detected only in October when individuals with lengths of 10-50 mm comprised 93% of its population. Length-weight based biomasses were significantly variable for all species depending on the size structure in time. Larger sized individuals (> 30 mm) of M. leidyi appeared as compared with those before year 1997. The ecosystem of the Black Sea has been suppressed both bottom-up through decreased eutrophication and top-down through reduced grazing on mesozooplankton by M. leidyi that are in turn controlled by grazing by B. ovata. The catch of anchovy was abruptly reduced to 120,000 tons due presumably to the considerably increased catch of its predator, the bonito (64,000 tons) in the year 2005.