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Zwart J.A.,University of Notre Dame | Craig N.,McGill University | Kelly P.T.,University of Notre Dame | Sebestyen S.D.,Northern Research Station | And 3 more authors.
Limnology and Oceanography | Year: 2016

Over the last several decades, many lakes globally have increased in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), calling into question how lake functions may respond to increasing DOC. Unfortunately, our basis for making predictions is limited to spatial surveys, modeling, and laboratory experiments, which may not accurately capture important whole-ecosystem processes. In this article, we present data on metabolic and physiochemical responses of a multiyear experimental whole-lake increase in DOC concentration. Unexpectedly, we observed an increase in pelagic gross primary production, likely due to a small increase in phosphorus as well as a surprising lack of change in epilimnetic light climate. We also speculate on the importance of lake size modifying the relationship between light climate and elevated DOC. A larger increase in ecosystem respiration resulted in an increased heterotrophy for the treatment basin. The magnitude of the increase in heterotrophy was extremely close to the excess DOC load to the treatment basin, indicating that changes in heterotrophy may be predictable if allochthonous carbon loads are well-constrained. Elevated DOC concentration also reduced thermocline and mixed layer depth and reduced whole-lake temperature. Results from this experiment were quantitatively different, and sometimes even in the opposite direction, from expectations based on cross-system surveys and bottle experiments, emphasizing the importance of whole-ecosystem experiments in understanding ecosystem response to environmental change. © 2016 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography. Source

Moody E.K.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Moody E.K.,Arizona State University | Weidel B.C.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Weidel B.C.,United States Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2011

Differences in the preferred thermal habitat of Lake Superior lake trout morphotypes create alternative growth scenarios for parasitic sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) attached to lake trout hosts. Siscowet lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) inhabit deep, consistently cold water (4-6 °C) and are more abundant than lean lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) which occupy temperatures between 8 and 12 °C during summer thermal stratification. Using bioenergetics models we contrasted the growth potential of sea lampreys attached to siscowet and lean lake trout to determine how host temperature influences the growth and ultimate size of adult sea lamprey. Sea lampreys simulated under the thermal regime of siscowets are capable of reaching sizes within the range of adult sea lamprey sizes observed in Lake Superior tributaries. High lamprey wounding rates on siscowets suggest siscowets are important lamprey hosts. In addition, siscowets have higher survival rates from lamprey attacks than those observed for lean lake trout which raises the prospect that siscowets serve as a buffer to predation on more commercially desirable hosts such as lean lake trout, and could serve to subsidize lamprey growth. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Warner D.M.,United States Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center | Claramunt R.M.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station | Schaeffer J.S.,United States Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center | Yule D.L.,United States Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center | And 5 more authors.
Fisheries Research | Year: 2012

Because it is not possible to identify species with echosounders alone, trawling is widely used as a method for collecting species and size composition data for allocating acoustic fish density estimates to species or size groups. In the Laurentian Great Lakes, data from midwater trawls are commonly used for such allocations. However, there are no rules for how much midwater trawling effort is required to adequately describe species and size composition of the pelagic fish communities in these lakes, so the balance between acoustic sampling effort and trawling effort has been unguided. We used midwater trawl data collected between 1986 and 2008 in lakes Michigan and Huron and a variety of analytical techniques to develop guidance for appropriate levels of trawl effort. We used multivariate regression trees and re-sampling techniques to i. identify factors that influence species and size composition of the pelagic fish communities in these lakes, ii. identify stratification schemes for the two lakes, iii. determine if there was a relationship between uncertainty in catch composition and the number of tows made, and iv. predict the number of tows required to reach desired uncertainty targets. We found that depth occupied by fish below the surface was the most influential explanatory variable. Catch composition varied between lakes at depths <38.5. m below the surface, but not at depths ≥38.5. m below the surface. Year, latitude, and bottom depth influenced catch composition in the near-surface waters of Lake Michigan, while only year was important for Lake Huron surface waters. There was an inverse relationship between RSE [relative standard error = 100 × (SE/mean)] and the number of tows made for the proportions of the different size and species groups. We found for the fifth (Lake Huron) and sixth (Lake Michigan) largest lakes in the world, 15-35 tows were adequate to achieve target RSEs (15% and 30%) for ubiquitous species, but rarer species required much higher, and at times, impractical effort levels to reach these targets. © 2011. Source

French III J.R.,United States Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center | Stickel R.G.,United States Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center | Stockdale B.A.,United States Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center | Black M.G.,United States Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

Diporeia hoyi and Mysis relicta are the most important prey items of slimy sculpins (Cottus cognatus) in the Great Lakes. Slimy sculpins were collected from dreissenid-infested bottoms off seven Lake Michigan ports at depths of 27-73 m in fall 2003 to study their lake-wide diets. Relatively large dreissenid biomass occurred at depths of 37- and 46-m. Quagga mussels (Dreissena bugnesis) composed at least 50% of dreissenid biomass at Manistique, Saugatuck, and Sturgeon Bay. Mysis accounted for 82% of the sculpin diet by dry weight at eastern Lake Michigan while Diporeia composed 54-69% of the diet at western Lake Michigan and dominated the diets of slimy sculpins at all sites deeper than 46 m. In northern Lake Michigan, this diet study in new sites showed that slimy sculpin consumed more prey with low energy contents, especially chironomids, than Mysis and Diporeia in shallow sites (depth <55 m). We recommend diet studies on sedentary benthic fishes to be conducted along perimeters of the Great Lakes to observe changes in their diets that may be impacted by changing benthic macroinvertebrate communities. © 2010. Source

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