Jellification

I’m sitting here in the NaNoWriMo section of the local library with the nanowrimos. I’m doing this blog post and listening to Great Music. “Kangna” by Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad

I came to this music via the movie ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist‘. It runs in the opening 5 minutes or so and it didn’t take long before I found myself saying “I need to find out who this is!”

I love the music and the way they weave their vocals in with the instruments. Not actually speaking the language actually adds to the attraction. I tend to prefer music without vocals and vocals I can’t understand often work fine.

When I first found the YouTube video for this group I could see from comments that many others had discovered them through the same path I did, Hollywood.

Anyway, the music and environment I’m immersed in are not the subject of the post. Nope. The subject of this post is a word I might have heard before but no in the context of geology or ecology. That word is: jellification

What does that mean?

Many lakes in North America, especially in Ontario, went through a period of Acidification in the 70s and 80s due to airborne pollutants from smelting and manufacturing. This change in PH levels has affected the ecology of the lakes by changing their chemistry.

The acid reduced the Calcium levels in the lakes. That affected the Daphniids plankton species that need it to grow and reproduce. That has left them more vulnerable to predators and environmental change.

It also means there are more algae around (the plankton aren’t consuming as much as they once did) for other organisms that might consume it. And there’s a jelly-clad organism, Holopedium, that is beginning to push into that niche and take over. It eats the algae and needs less calcium to live. It’s jelly coat makes it less palatable to predators.

Researchers say the number of invertebrate jellies in Canadian lakes has doubled since the 80s. And that’s a problem. Increasing jellification harms how many nutrients are available further up the food chain. And they clog water filtration systems, drinking water systems.

The age of acid rain may have passed but the damage it has caused turns out to be more pernicious than we knew. And with climate change warming up things it’s only going to get worse …

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