Mesozooplankton and gelatinous zooplankton communities in Chesapeake Bay (CB) and the northern Adriatic Sea (NAS) have been subject to similar stressors over recent decades, including warming waters, overfishing, urbanization, and eutrophication. Direct comparisons between the systems are clouded by the lack of standardized and sustained long‐term monitoring programs in both, which have covered different temporal and spatial scales, and employed different methodologies. Data that are available show that the systems differ in community composition, with CB having fewer species compared with the more diverse NAS. Both systems have seen an altered gelatinous zooplankton community over recent decades. In the NAS, these changes in part have been due to the recent introduction of nonindigenous species, a phenomenon not yet documented in CB. Chesapeake Bay has seen a long‐term decline in the abundance of the dominant copepod taxa, attributed to increases in ctenophore abundance and/or increased seasonal hypoxia. Given the importance of mesozooplankton and gelatinous organisms in marine food webs, it is imperative that future ecosystem‐based management efforts for marine resources include coordinated, consistent, and standardized monitoring of mesozooplankton and gelatinous zooplankton. Such data would allow for the development of robust indices to help achieve management goals for water quality, ecosystem health, and marine resources.
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