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Sub-indicator: Cladophora

Every three years the Great Lakes Executive Committee reports on the status of the Great Lakes' ecosystem based on 9 indicators and several sub-indicators. This sub-indicator technical report supports assessment of the Nutrients and Algae Indicator by evaluating the status of Cladophora and other benthic algae that can grow to nuisance levels. Based on established criteria, the overall status fo

Predicting larval alewife transport in Lake Michigan using hydrodynamic and Lagrangian particle dispersion models

Several species of fish in large lakes and marine environments have a pelagic larval stage, and are subject to variable transport that can ultimately regulate survival and recruitment success. Alewife, Alosa pseudoharengus, are subject to transport by complex coastal currents during their pelagic larval stage (~ 30 d). We assessed backward-trajectory simulations, consisting of a Lagrangian particl

Genome-wide genetic diversity may help identify fine-scale genetic structure among lake whitefish spawning groups in Lake Erie

In Lake Erie, lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis supported lucrative fisheries before populations were decimated by overfishing and water quality degradation. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in lake whitefish and management of the fishery they support. Lake whitefish spawn on several reefs throughout Lake Erie, but the relative recruitment dynamics and contributions of spawni

Turbidity and estimated phosphorus retention in a reconnected Lake Erie coastal wetland

Nearly all of the wetlands in the coastal zone of Lake Erie have been degraded or destroyed since the 1860s, and most of those that remain are separated from their watersheds by earthen dikes. Hydrologic isolation of these wetlands disrupts ecosystem benefits typical to Great Lakes coastal wetlands, particularly the ability to trap sediments and retain nutrients when inundated by runoff and lake w

Variation of cisco egg size among Laurentian Great Lakes populations

Many fish species display inter-population and inter-individual egg size variation. Intra-specific differences in egg size seemingly reflect both energetic experiences of individual spawning fish and long-term population responses to differing ecosystems. Optimal egg size theory implies that selection influences a population’s mean egg size in response to its early-life environment, given the well

Fungal endophyte effects on invasive Phragmites australis performance in field and growth chamber environments

Manipulating plant microbiomes may provide control of invasive species. Invasive Phragmites australis has spread rapidly in North American wetlands, causing significant declines in native biodiversity. To test microbiome effects on host growth, we inoculated four common fungal endophytes into replicated Phragmites genotypes and monitored their growth in field and growth chamber environments. Inocu

Extent of sedge-grass meadow in a Lake Michigan drowned river mouth wetland dictated by topography and lake level

Water-level fluctuations are critical in maintaining diversity of plant communities in Great Lakes wetlands. Sedge-grass meadows are especially sensitive to such fluctuations. We conducted vegetation sampling in a sedge-grass dominated Lake Michigan drowned river mouth wetland in 1995, 2002, and 2010 following high lake levels in 1986 and 1997. We also conducted photointerpretation studies in 16 y

Local diversity in phenological responses of migratory lake sturgeon to warm winters

Rich intraspecific diversity in traits that shape responses to environmental conditions implies that effects of climate change will differ within species or even populations. Nevertheless, few studies investigate how different groups within species respond to climatic fluctuations, and most risk assessments rely upon species-wide generalizations. We studied effects of among-year variation in air t

Towards improving an Area of Concern: Main-channel habitat rehabilitation priorities for the Maumee River

The Maumee River watershed in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin has been impacted by decades of pollution and habitat modification due to human settlement and development. As such, the lower 35 km of the Maumee River and several smaller adjacent watersheds comprising over 2000 km2 were designated the Maumee Area of Concern (AOC) under the revised Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1987. As part

Microbial source tracking and evaluation of best management practices for restoring degraded beaches of Lake Michigan

Attempts to mitigate shoreline microbial contamination require a thorough understanding of pollutant sources, which often requires multiple years of data collection (e.g., point/nonpoint) and the interacting factors that influence water quality. Because restoration efforts can alter shoreline or beach morphology, revisiting source inputs is often necessary. Microbial source tracking (MST) using so

Results of the collaborative Lake Ontario bloater restoration stocking and assessment, 2012–2020

Bloater, Coregonus hoyi, are deepwater planktivores native to the Laurentian Great Lakes and Lake Nipigon. Interpretations of commercial fishery time series suggest they were common in Lake Ontario through the early 1900s but by the 1950s were no longer captured by commercial fishers. Annual bottom trawl surveys that began in 1978 and sampled extensively across putative bloater habitat only yielde