Journal Article

Seasonality of the ctenophore <i>Mnemiopsis leidyi</i> in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island

Wesley T. Beaulieu, John H. Costello, Grace Klein-Macphee and Barbara K. Sullivan

in Journal of Plankton Research

Volume 35, issue 4, pages 785-791
Published in print July 2013 | ISSN: 0142-7873
Published online May 2013 | e-ISSN: 1464-3774 | DOI:
Seasonality of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island

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  • Marine and Estuarine Biology
  • Zoology and Animal Sciences


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Predation by the lobate ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi (hereafter Mnemiopsis) significantly influences marine zooplankton communities in its native and introduced ranges. Although knowledge of detailed spatial and temporal distribution patterns is crucial for understanding Mnemiopsis's population dynamics, many studies are of either relatively short time duration or limited spatial extent. Here, we present monthly data on ctenophore abundance and distribution from the years 2001–07 across 15 stations in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA. Over these years, ctenophores were first detectable in inshore waters during the spring or summer. Other sites within Narragansett Bay subsequently became populated by Mnemiopsis. As temperatures decreased through the autumn, Mnemiopsis most often had its last seasonal presence also at stations located near the inner margins of the Bay. These data are consistent with previous evidence indicating inshore waters are overwintering sites for Mnemiopsis. High retention regions, such as our stations located in inshore waters, are likely important for long-term establishment of Mnemiopsis populations in temperate waters of both its native and introduced ranges.

Keywords: ctenophore; invasive species; Mnemiopsis leidyi; seasonality; refugia

Journal Article.  3746 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Marine and Estuarine Biology ; Zoology and Animal Sciences

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