St Lawrence River Institute

Cornwall, Canada

St Lawrence River Institute

Cornwall, Canada
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Smokorowski K.E.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Metcalfe R.A.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources | Finucan S.D.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources | Jones N.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources | And 4 more authors.
Ecohydrology | Year: 2011

Although dams have impounded the majority of the world's altered watercourses, there is a growing awareness of the importance of mitigating or reversing some of the negative effects on aquatic ecosystems and the related services they provide. We used an ecosystem approach, including detailed studies on hydrology, geomorphology, invertebrates, fish, and food web dynamics on a river altered by waterpower production and a natural flowing river to assess system responses to a change in the altered flow regime (specifically the ramping rate or rate of change of flow). Although there was significant alteration in the flow and sediment regimes under the original restricted ramping rate regime, differences in many biotic variables in the two rivers were not significant including total invertebrate abundance and diversity, fish biomass, fish condition, and food web length. However, significant differences in the abundance and distribution of some sensitive invertebrate taxa and fish diversity were observed between the altered and natural flowing rivers as was the energy base of the food web, measured with stable isotopes. The altered river had lower overall abundance of Odonata, Ephemeroptera and Plecoptera, and Diptera, Trichoptera, Ephemeroptera, and Coleoptera increase in abundance towards the deeper and higher velocity thalweg. On average, δ 13C values were lighter in altered sites compared to unaltered sites, likely due to carbon export from the upstream reservoir. Results will inform Canadian federal and provincial policy concerning the efficacy of ramping rate restrictions as a tool to mitigate the environmental impacts associated with peaking waterpower dam operations. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and Crown in the right of Canada.

de Lafontaine Y.,Environment Canada | Marty J.,St Lawrence River Institute | Despatie S.-P.,Environment Canada
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2012

Following the recent invasion of the mysid Hemimysis anomala (HA) in the Great Lakes basin and given that the species is often reported in harbors and navigation waterways, this study was designed to determine the abundance and spatial distribution of HA in Montreal Harbour, in the St. Lawrence River and to compare the sampling efficiency of two plankton nets for monitoring the species. Samples were collected in September and October 2009 at 24 stations including harbor and non-harbour sites using 50- and 75-cm diameter plankton nets. High density swarms (>1000/m 2) of HA were found along the harbor piers at sites of slow water exchange, while open water sites in the central part of harbor basins and along the river mainstream were characterized by very low densities (<5/m 2). HA was not found at non-harbor sites. The spatially contagious distribution of HA was not directly related to variability in water quality parameters. Sampling gear comparisons showed that the larger aperture net yielded higher abundance estimates and larger size range of specimens. The high abundance of HA in a relatively confined area of Montreal Harbour and the absence of the species at upstream sites suggest that the species might have been present in the Montreal area for a number of years as a result of local discharge of ship's ballast waters. Harbour zones in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin are expected to offer adequate habitats to HA and should be selected as priority sites for monitoring of the species. © 2011.

Marty J.,St Lawrence River Institute | Marty J.,University of Waterloo | Ives J.,University of Waterloo | de Lafontaine Y.,Environment Canada | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2012

This study is providing the first insight on the food sources supporting Hemimysis anomala in a lotic ecosystem where food webs differ from those of lentic ecosystems. Using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes, the diet of Hemimysis was evaluated in multiple sites of the St Lawrence River where higher density swarms have been recently reported. We found that Hemimysis may feed on multiple food sources, including benthic and pelagic production, and from multiple trophic levels. Results from a mixing model applied to evaluate the importance of benthic versus pelagic food sources revealed site specific variations in diet. At the low flow sites located in the Montréal Harbour, Hemimysis fed primarily on pelagic production compared to the more open sites exposed to higher flow located outside of the harbor. This study indicates that Hemimysis may adapt its feeding behavior to environmental conditions and/or food source availability, potentially increasing its impacts on food web structure. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Szekeres P.,Carleton University | Eliason E.J.,Carleton University | Eliason E.J.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Lapointe D.,Carleton University | And 4 more authors.
Climate Research | Year: 2016

Over the past decade nearly all of the research on the effects of climate change on fish has focused on the effects of warmer water temperatures. Yet, it is expected that temperature variability will also increase, resulting in more frequent incidences of rapid decreases in water temperatures (i.e. cold shock). Cold shock events have caused large-scale fish mortalities, and sublethal impacts are also known to occur but are less well documented. We argue that cold shock will become an important selective force in climate change scenarios. There is a rich history of research on cold shock in the context of industrial cooling effluents and aquaculture, providing a foundation upon which to develop and extend future work on cold shock and climate change. To understand the diverse effects climate change may have on fish populations, future research needs to expand beyond the projected increases in water temperatures to include consideration of variability in temperature and the potential for cold shock. © Inter-Research 2016.

Ives J.T.,University of Waterloo | Marty J.,University of Waterloo | Marty J.,St Lawrence River Institute | Marty J.,Genivar Inc. | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Plankton Research | Year: 2013

Invasive species are a known stressor on aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the waters of the Great Lakes basin. A recent invader, Hemimysis anomala, has had significant impacts on food webs in Europe, where it invaded previous to its spread to North America. This study used carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes to characterize and compare the diet of Hemimysis from 13 sites in the Great Lakes basin. Results indicated that: (i) Hemimysis relied predominantly on pelagic carbon sources at the majority of sites, and isotopic differences between life-stages existed at two of the 13 sites examined, (ii) the trophic offset and reliance on pelagic food sources did not differ significantly between lotic and lentic sites, and (iii) the isotopic niche width of Hemimysis was spatially heterogeneous, varying by an order of magnitude among sites, but was unrelated to the degree of isotopic variation in the basal food web at each site. Observed ranges in trophic offset and the pelagic fraction of dietary carbon indicate that Hemimysis derives carbon from both benthic and water column sources, as well as at multiple trophic levels. Our results support the view that Hemimysis is an opportunistic omnivore that displays significant dietary flexibility. © 2013 The Author.

Marty J.,St Lawrence River Institute | Marty J.,University of Waterloo | Bowen K.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Koops M.A.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Power M.,University of Waterloo
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2010

Since 2006, the known distribution of Hemimysis anomala has greatly expanded in the Great Lakes ecosystem, with, to date, 45 sites of occurrence among 91 monitored sites, located in four of the Great Lakes and the upper St. Lawrence River. By means of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes, a first assessment of the feeding ecology of Hemimysis was completed. The δ13C values of 18 individuals collected in Lake Erie (Port Mainland) on a single date (Sept. 23, 2008) ranged from -30.2 to -24.5‰, indicating that Hemimysis could feed on multiple carbon sources including pelagic and littoral autochthonous and terrestrial carbon. In Lake Erie, variation in δ13C was related to δ15N, indicating the importance of food source for determining the trophic position of Hemimysis. The δ15N signatures of individuals were strongly related to their C/N ratios, suggesting that variations in the nutritional value of Hemimysis may depend on trophic position. Isotopic variation among individuals in Lake Erie was complemented by temporal variation in Lake Ontario. Monthly changes (from June to December 2008) in carbon isotope signatures were observed and related to changes in water temperature, highlighting the variations in the baseline prey signatures that fuel Hemimysis diets. The observed variation in stable isotope signatures occurring among individuals within a localized Hemimysis assemblage and temporally should be considered as a key design feature in further studies attempting to identify the possible effects of Hemimysis on nearshore food webs in the Great Lakes. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

Ricciardi A.,McGill University | Avlijas S.,McGill University | Marty J.,St Lawrence River Institute
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2012

The bloody red mysid shrimp Hemimysis anomala is the most recent Ponto-Caspian invader of the Great Lakes. At present, there is a paucity of data that can be used to forecast its ecological impacts in North America; however, published studies of other invasive freshwater mysids (i.e. Mysis diluviana introduced to North American lakes and Mysis relicta introduced to Scandinavian lakes) reveal potentially valuable predictive information. A frequent impact of Mysis introductions is a drastic decline in zooplankton (particularly cladoceran) abundance, which can release phytoplankton populations from grazer control and alter the abundance and growth of pelagic fishes. Other impacts include enhanced bioaccumulation of contaminants, new pathways of parasite transmission to fishes, and altered nutrient cycling. Like Mysis spp., H. anomala has the potential to affect all trophic levels in lakes. It has reduced the abundance and diversity of zooplankton in European reservoirs, where it achieved mean densities higher than those recorded for other introduced mysids elsewhere. It can colonize a broader range of habitats than Mysis throughout the year, including the nearshore areas of lakes and large rivers. Within river systems, the impacts of H. anomala will likely be most pronounced in backwater lakes, impounded areas and reservoirs. Understanding the environmental factors that limit the local abundance of H. anomala and mediate its species interactions is essential for developing predictive models of its impact. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Walsh M.G.,U.S. Geological Survey | Boscarino B.T.,The Harvey School | Marty J.,St Lawrence River Institute | Johannsson O.E.,Canada Center for Inland Waters
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2012

Mysis diluviana and Hemimysis anomala are the only two species of mysid shrimps in the order Mysidacea that are present in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. M. diluviana has inhabited the deep, cold waters of this region since Pleistocene-era glacial retreat and is widely considered to have a central role in the functioning of offshore food webs in systems they inhabit. More recently, the Great Lakes were invaded by the Ponto-Caspian native Hemimysis, a species that inhabits warmer water and shallower depths relative to M. diluviana. Hemimysis has rapidly expanded throughout the Great Lakes region and has become integrated into nearshore food webs as both food for planktivorous fish and predators and competitors of zooplankton. This special issue is composed of 14 papers that represent the most recent advances in our understanding of the ecological importance of both species of mysids to lake and river ecosystems in the Great Lakes region of North America. Topics discussed in this special issue will inform future research in all systems influenced by mysid ecology. © 2012.

Tadonleke R.D.,University of Quebec at Montréal | Marty J.,University of Quebec at Montréal | Marty J.,St Lawrence River Institute | Planas D.,University of Quebec at Montréal
FEMS Microbiology Ecology | Year: 2012

Reservoirs and lakes were compared to test the hypothesis that they are similar with respect to factors driving the variation in CO 2 emissions to the atmosphere. Understanding this variation is necessary for the assessment of the contribution of these freshwater ecosystems to the global carbon cycle. This study, in contrast to previous ones, included analyses of the relationships between CO 2 emissions and microbial communities. Pooled data (lakes and reservoirs) showed that variations in CO 2 emissions were strongly related to variations in temperature, dissolved organic matter (DOM) quality, and bacterial production (BP). Results also showed that lakes were characterized by higher water temperature, lower DOM quality, larger size of Daphnia, and enriched δ 13C zooplankton compared to reservoirs. Moreover, interactions within plankton communities and relationships between CO 2 emissions and zooplankton δ 13C signatures differed in lakes vs. reservoirs, indicating among-system type differences in food web structure and carbon cycling. As a result of these ecosystem-type characteristics, CO 2 emission variation was mainly explained by temperature and BP in lakes, and by DOM quality and the ratio of phytoplankton biomass to microheterotroph biomass in reservoirs. These results showed that differences in temperature and DOM quality between lakes and reservoirs translate into differences in microbial interactions and ultimately in the importance of factors driving CO 2 emissions to the atmosphere. They indicated that considering microbial communities and environmental variables such as temperature and DOM quality can help improve our understanding of the variation in CO 2 emissions from freshwater ecosystems. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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