Cnidarian jellyfish are among the most elegant and dazzling organisms inhabiting the global aquatic environment, due to their various and sometimes striking colours as well as their long and dense tentacle structures. Despite their extreme beauty, jellyfish are also considered as a very dangerous and venomous organism. Their genetic makeup provides them with batteries of intracellular capsules (nematocysts) produced by the Golgi apparatus of specialized cells (cnidocytes) from which the whole phylum Cnidaria takes the name (from the Greek κνίδη, which means "nettle").
As a matter of fact, some of these organisms are known as "sea nettles" and present a considerable amount of danger to bathers and sea-workers in several coastal zones around the world. Therefore, the occurrence of jellyfish blooms constitutes a serious threat from a sanitary and economical point of view, preventing humans from visiting beaches, coasts, and coastal waters by interfering with bathing and other recreational and vocational activities linked to the sea.
In addition, the connection between jellyfish outbreaks and global environmental changes has been taken very seriously over the past few years. Indeed, human influence and worsening environmental conditions have induced many species to adapt to new situations, bringing about physiological and behavioural modifications. Notwithstanding these negative aspects, jellyfish are considered a resource to be exploited in the fields of drug discovery and as new prospects for human nutrition in countries where the use of such creatures as a food source is not traditional.
Jellyfish: Ecology, Distribution Patterns & Human Interactions aims to present an up-to-date view about the research on jellyfish by taking into account their ecological role, dynamics and distribution, health aspects and global implications connected to recurrent outbreaks, and the current and future prospects for utilization of these organisms in the fields of drug discovery, ecotoxicology and human nutrition.
Section 1 - Jellyfish Ecological Role, Dynamics and Distribution
Chapter 1. Seasonal Distribution, Abundance and Biomass of Large Medusae in Subtropical Coastal Brazil
(M. Nogueira Junior and M.A. Haddad, Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Cidade Universitária, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil, and others)
Chapter 2. Alien Jellyfish in Expansion: The Contribution of Taxonomy to Ecology
(C. Gravili, Laboratory of Zoology and Marine Biology, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Di.S.Te.B.A., Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy)
Chapter 3. Jellyfish Dynamics and Their Socioeconomic and Ecological Consequences in Turkish Seas
(M. Isinibilir and I.N. Yilmaz, Department of Marine Biology, Faculty of Fisheries, Istanbul University, Turkey, and others)
Chapter 4. The Strait of Messina: A Key Area for Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa)
(L. Guglielmo, R. Minutoli, A. Bergamasco, A. Granata, G. Zagami, C. Brugnano, and F. Boero, ULR-CoNISMa, Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed Ambientali, Università di Messina, Italy, and others)
Chapter 5. An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Scyphozoans of the Atlantic Ocean
(Z. Morais, A. Schiariti and A. Morandini, Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar Egas Moniz, CiiEM, Egas Moniz Cooperativa de Ensino Superior, Caparica, Portugal, and others)
Section 2 - Jellyfish Outbreaks, Health Aspects and Global Implications
Chapter 6. Jellyfish Blooms and Injuries in Turkey
(N. Gülsahin, Mugla Sitki Koçman University, Faculty of Fisheries, Department of Basic Sciences, Mugla, Turkey)
Chapter 7. Jellyfish Blooming in Maltese Waters and its Socio-Economic Interactions
(A. Vella and N. Vella, Conservation Biology Research Group, Department of Biology, University of Malta, Msida, Malta)
Chapter 8. Tracing Jellyfish Stings in the Valencian Community (East and South-East Spain) (2010-2014)
(J.E. Guillén Nieto, D. Gras Olivares, A. Triviño Pérez, J. Martínez Vidal, S. Jiménez Gutiérrez, G. Soler Capdepón, and S. Organ, Instituto de Ecología Litoral, El Campello – Alicante, Spain)
Chapter 9. Jellyfish Envenomation, Manifestation and Intervention
(D. Singh Bais, J. Gu, W.L. Che, and L. Xiao, Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China, and others)
Chapter 10. Jellyfish Outbreaks: A Mediterranean Focus on a Global Threat
(G. Bonello, G.L. Mariottini and L. Pane, Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences, University of Genova, Italy)
Section 3 - Jellyfish Usefulness: Implications in Drug Discovery, Ecotoxicology and Human Nutrition
Chapter 11. Pharmacological Activity of the Jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana Crude Extract
(I. Maravilla-Ulloa, E. Rangel-Lopez, A. Santamaría, R. Arreguín-Espinosa, F. Lazcano-Pérez, and J. Sánchez-Rodríguez, Posgrado en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito Exterior S/N, Ciudad Universitaria, Delegación Coyoacán, Distrito Federal, México, and others)
Chapter 12. Cnidarian Venoms and Alternative Research Methods: From Cell Damage to Possible Applications
(Gian Luigi Mariottini and Lucas Brotz, Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences, University of Genova, Italy, and others)
Chapter 13. The Moon Jellyfish as a New Bioindicator: Impact of Silver Nanoparticles on the Morphogenesis
(J. Gadreaud, B. Martin-Garin, E. Artells, C. Levard, M. Auffan, A.-L. Barkate, and A. Thiéry, Aix–Marseille Université, Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et D’écologie Marine et Continentale (IMBE), IRD, Avignon Université, France, and others)
Chapter 14. Mini-Review: Gelatinous Zooplankton as a Model in Marine Ecotoxicology
(M. Faimali1, E. Costa, C. Gambardella, V. Piazza, S. Lavorano, and F. Garaventa, CNR - Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR), Genoa, Italy, and others)
Chapter 15. Studying Jellyfish Fisheries: Toward Accurate National Catch Reports and Appropriate Methods for Stock Assessments
(L. Brotz and D. Pauly, Sea Around Us, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Chapter 16. Jellyfish and Humans: Not Just Negative Interactions
(P. D’Amico, A. Leone, A. Giusti, and A. Armani, FishLab, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, and others)
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