Research Group - Larval Fish Ecology


Survival of fish eggs and larvae is crucial for the recriutment to fisheries and the bottleneck in productions for aquaculture. the focus of the larval ecology group therefore is on the effects of the ocean currents, temperature, salinity and pH (ocean acidification) and genetic background on development, growth, performance, gene expression and survival of commercially important fish eggs and larvae, namely sea bass, herring and cod.


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Former members of Research Group

Current Projects

2019 - 2022: BMEL Projekt UFOTriNet: „Aufbau eines trilateralen Netzwerks für ein automatisches, kontinuierliches und nichtinvasives Monitoring von Fischbeständen durch Entwicklung eines mobilen (UFOmobil) sowie eines portablen Unterwasser-Fisch-Observatoriums (UFOportabel) und deren Kopplung mit einem bereits bestehenden stationären Unterwasser-Fisch-Observatorium (UFOstationär) in der Kieler Förde.

2013 – 2017  EU-BONUS-project  BIO-C3: "Biodiversity changes: causes, consequences and management implications", Task leader for “Physiological tolerance, preference and phenotypic plasticity”. Project involves 13 partners from 7 Baltic countries. People involved: PhD student Felix Mittermayer, Master student Luisa Berghoff.

2013 – 2016 "Fish disease, immunity and sustainable nutrition in aquaculture"(FINE Aqua) Funded by Ministry of Economics of Land Schleswig-Holstein to Dr. Catriona Clemmesen and Prof. Dr. Thorsten Reusch. People involved master student Huajing Yan, PhD student Andrea Franke, Postdoc Joanna Miest, junior group leader Dr. Olivia Roth.

2015 – 2017 ‘Effects of ocean acidification and warming on fish and their socioeconomic implications’ (together with Prof. Martin Quaas, Univ. Kiel). Part of BMBF-BIOACID large consortium phase III.  People involved PhD student Martina Stiasny.

Selected Publications

Ory, N.C., Lehmann, A., Javidpour, J., Stöhr, R. Walls, G.L., Clemmesen, C. (2020). Factors influencing the spatial and temporal distribution of microplastics at the sea surface – A year-long monitoring case study from the urban Kiel Fjord, southwest Baltic Sea. Science of the Total environment 736 ,139493.

Costalago, D., Kisten, Y., Clemmesen, C., Strydom, N.A. (2020). Growth and nutritional condition of anchovy larvae on the West and Southeast Coasts of South Africa. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 644, 119-128.

Frommel, A.Y., Hermann, B.T., Michael, K., Lucassen, M., Clemmesen, C., Hanel, R.; Reusch, T.B.H. (2020). Differential gene expression patterns related to lipid metabolism in response to ocean acidification in larvae and juveniles of Atlantic cod. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A, 247, 110740.

Mittermayer, F.H., Stiasny, M.H, Clemmesen, C., Bayer, T., Puvanendran, V., Chierici, M., S. Jentoft, S. & T.B.H. Reusch (2019). Transcriptome profiling reveals exposure to predicted end-of-century ocean acidification as a stealth stressor for Atlantic cod larvae.
Scientific reports, 9(1), 16908.

Stiasny, M.H., Sswat, M., Mittermayer, F.H., Falk-Petersen, I.-B., Schnell, N.K., Puvanendran, V., Mortensen. A., Reusch, T.B.H., Clemmesen, C. (2019). Divergent responses of Atlantic cod to ocean acidification and food limitation. Global Change Biology 2019, 1-11. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14554.

Casties, I., Clemmesen, C., Briski, E. (2019). Environmental tolerance of three gammarid species with and without invasion record under current and future global warming scenarios. Diversity and Distributions 25 (4), 603-612. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12856.

Politis, S.N., Sørensen, S.R., Mazurais, D., Servili, A., Zambonino-Infante, J.-L., Miest, J.J., Clemmesen C., Tomkiewicz J. and Butts I.A.E. (2018). Molecular Ontogeny of First-Feeding European Eel Larvae. Front. Physiol. 9:1477. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.0147.

Jasper, C., Huwer, B., Weiland-Bräuer, N., Clemmesen, C. (2018). First record of the non-indigenous jellyfish Blackfordia virginica (Mayer, 1910) in the Baltic Sea. Helgoland Marine Research 72: 13.

Stiasny, M.H., Mittermayer, F.H., Göttler, G., Bridges, C.R., Falk-Petersen, I-B., Puvanendran, V., Mortensen, A., Reusch, T.B.H., Clemmesen, C. (2018). Effects of parental acclimation and energy limitation in response to high CO2 exposure in Atlantic cod. Scientific Reports 8: 8348.

Bornman, E., Strydom, N., Clemmesen (2018). Appraisal of warm-temperate South African mangrove estuaries as habitats to enhance larval nutritional condition and growth of Gilchristella aestaria (Family Clupeidae) using RNA/DNA ratios. Estuaries and Coasts

Sswat, M., Stiasny, M.H., Taucher, J., Alguero-Muniz, M., Bach, L.T.; Jutfelt, F., Riebesell, U., Clemmesen, C. (2018). Food web changes under ocean acidification promote herring larvae survival. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2, 836–840.

Sswat, M., Stiasny, M.H., Jutfelt, F., Riebesell1, U. & Clemmesen, C. (2018).Growth performance and survival of larval Atlantic herring, under the combined effects of elevated temperatures and CO2. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0191947.

Königstein, S., Dahlke, F.T., Stiasny, M.H., Storch, D., Clemmesen, C., Pörtner, H.-O. (2018). Forecasting future recruitment success for Atlantic cod in the warming and acidifying Barents Sea. Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13848

Franke, A., Roth, O., De Schryver, P., Bayer, T., Garcia-Gonzalez, L., Künzel, S., Bossier, P., Miest, J.J., Clemmesen, C. (2017). Poly-β-hydroxybutyrate administration during early life: effects on performance, immunity and microbial community of European sea bass yolk-sac larvae. Scientific Reports 7: 15022.

Paulsen, M., Clemmesen, C., Hammer, C., Polte, P., Malzahn, A.M. (2016). Food-limited growth of larval Atlantic herring Clupea harengus recurrently observed in a coastal nursery area. Helgol Mar Res (2016) 70:17.

Stiasny, M.H., Mittermayer, F.H., Sswat, M., Voss, R., Jutfelt, F., Chierici, M., Puvanendran, V., Mortensen, A., Reusch, T.B.H., Clemmesen, C. (2016). Ocean Acidification Effects on Atlantic Cod Larval Survival and Recruitment to the Fished Population. PLoS One, 11(8): e0155448. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0155448.

Peck, M.A., Baumann, H., Clemmesen, C., Herrmann, J.P., Moyano, M., Temming, A. (2015). Calibrating and comparing somatic-, nucleic acid-, and otolith-based indicators of growth and condition in young juvenile European sprat (Sprattus sprattus). Jour. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol 471: 217-225.

Maneja, R.H., Frommel, A.Y., Browman, H.I., Geffen, A.J., Folkvord, A., Piatkowski, U., Durif, C.M.F., Bjelland, R., Skiftesvik, A.B., Clemmesen, C. (2015). The swimming kinematics and foraging behavior of larval Atlantic herring, (Clupea harengus L.), are unaffected by elevated pCO2.Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 466:42-48.

Schade, F.M, Clemmesen, C., Wegner, K. M. (2014). Within- and trans- generational effects of ocean acidification on life history of marine three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Mar. Biol. DOI 10.1007/s00227-014-2450-6

Maneja, R.H., Dineshram, R., Thiyagarajan, V., Skiftesvik, A.B., Frommel, A.Y., Clemmesen, C., Geffen, A.J., Browman, H.I. (2014). The proteome of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus L.) larvae is resistant to elevated pCO2. Mar. Poll. Bull:

Frommel, A.Y., Maneja, R.H., Lowe, D., Pascoe, C.K., Geffen, A.J., Folkvord, A., Piatkowski, U., Clemmesen, C. (2014). Organ damage in Atlantic herring larvae as a result of ocean acidification. Ecol. Appl. 24(5): 1131–1143.

Paulsen, M., Hammer, C., Malzahn, A.M, Polte, P., von Dorrien, C., Clemmesen, C. (2014). Nutritional situation for larval Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus L.) in two nursery areas in the western Baltic Sea. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 71 (4), 991-1000.

Paulsen, M., Clemmesen, C., Malzahn, A.M. (2014). Essential fatty acid (docosahexaeonic acid, DHA) availability affects growth of larval herring in the field. Marine Biology 161:239–244.

Maneja, R.H., Frommel, A.Y., Geffen, A.J., Folkvord, A., Piatkowski, U., Chang, M.Y., Clemmesen, C. (2013). Effects of ocean acidification on the calcification of otoliths of larval Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua L.. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 477: 251–258.

Voss, R., Peck, M.A., Hinrichsen, H.-H., Clemmesen, C., Baumann.H., Stepputtis, D., Bernreuter, M., Schmidt, J.O., Temming, A., Köster, F.W (2012). Recruitment processes in Baltic sprat - a re-evaluation of GLOBEC-Germany hypotheses. Progress in Oceanography 107, 51-79.

Frommel, A.Y., Maneja, R., Lowe, D., Malzahn, A., Geffen, A.J., Folkvord, A., Piatkowski, U., Reusch, T.B.H., Clemmesen, C. (2012). Severe tissue damage in Atlantic cod larvae under increasing ocean acidification. Nature Climate Change 2, 42-46.

Franke, A. and Clemmesen, C. (2011). Effect of ocean acidification on early life stages of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus L.). Biogeosciences 8, 3697-3707.

Huwer, B., Clemmesen, C., Grønkjær, P. and Köster, F.W. (2011). Vertical distribution and growth performance of Baltic cod larvae – Field evidence for starvation-induced recruitment regulation during the larval stage? Progress in Oceanography 91, 382-396.

Meyer, S., Caldarone, E.M., Chicharo, M.A., Clemmesen, C., Faria, A.M., Faulk, C., Folkvord, A., Holt, G.J., Hoie, H., Kanstinger, .P, Malzahn, A., Moran, D., Petereit, C., Stottrup, J.G., Peck, M.A. (2011). On the edge of death: Rates of decline and lower thresholds of biochemical condition in food-deprived fish larvae and juveniles. J. Mar. Syst. 93, 11-24. Doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2011.09.010

Hinrichsen, H.H., Voss, R., Huwer, B., Clemmesen, C. (2010). Variability of larval Baltic sprat  (Sprattus sprattus L.) otolith growth: a modeling approach combining spatially and temporally resolved biotic and abiotic environmental key variables. Fish. Oceanogr. 19:6, 463-479.