Jellyfish and Ctenophores in Limfjorden (Denmark): mini-review, with recent new observations

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Limfjorden is a major Danish water system that connects the North Sea via Thyborøn Kanal in the west and to the Kattegat in the east. Limfjorden is heavily eutrophicated and certain areas suffer from oxygen depletion each summer. Bottom-dwelling fish have disappeared as the number of jellyfish and ctenophores has increased. The abundance and predation impact of jellyfish and ctenophores in Limfjorden have been described in a number of studies conducted during the last decade, and a mini-review of this literature is given here in Section 2. The common jellyfish Aurelia aurita may, in a few years, be very abundant and exert a considerable predatory impact on zooplankton and fish larvae. Abundance, species composition, and population dynamics of A. aurita may, at irregular time intervals, be strongly influenced not only by the water brought into Limfjorden from the North Sea, but also by competition with the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi that occurred for the first time in extremely high numbers in 2007, brought into the fjord system with North Sea water. It has been suggested that Limfjorden may function as an incubator for M. leidyi with the potential to further seed M. leidyi into the Kattegat and adjacent Danish waters, and recent observations seem to support this hypothesis. In Section 3, we report on two bloom events of ctenophores, Pleurobrachia pileus and M. leidyi, along with their predators (Beroe spp.) in Limfjorden in the autumns of 2012 and 2013, when the usually dominating A. aurita was absent. However, the present observation of B. ovata being M. leidyi's native predator and a new species in Limfjorden may in the future reduce the abundance of M. leidyi.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)593-615
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Aurelia aurita
  • Beroe ovata
  • Ctenophores
  • Hydrography
  • Jellyfish
  • Limfjorden
  • Mnemiopsis leidyi
  • Predation impact
  • Zooplankton


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