The total volume of gelatinous zooplankton in lower Chesapeake Bay during August in years between 2000 and 2011 with high (L) and low (R) streamflow in the James River. During wet years, high freshwater streamflow reduces tributary salinities below optimal conditions for bay nettles and carries them downstream toward tributary mouths. In dry years, lower salinity conditions favorable to jellies reach relatively far up Bay tributaries. Data are interpolated from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science's Juvenile Fish and Blue Crab Trawl Survey dataset.
Learn more about the research that generated these plots here.