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Energy Pathways Supporting Diporeia Populations in Lake Superior

Sponsor
Great Lakes Protection Fund
Budget
$98,284
Duration
2003-2004
Boat
 
Investigators

Martin T. Auer, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Nancy A. Auer, Biological Sciences

Noel R. Urban, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Diporeia

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Synopsis

The amphipod, Diporeia, lives on and just beneath the sediments which lie at the bottom of the Great Lakes. This shrimp-like organism is a critical part of the food web which supports commercially important fish species such as lake trout and lake whitefish. Diporeia is disappearing from Lakes Erie, Ontario, Huron, and Michigan and scientists fear that food web disruptions accompanying the amphipod's demise will have serious negative impacts on the fishery. It has been hypothesized that declines in Diporeia populations have occurred due to competition for food from zebra mussels. This research focuses on remaining healthy populations of Diporeia in Lake Superior, seeking to define food and energy sources and providing a basis for quantitative testing of the zebra mussel completion hypothesis.

 

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