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U.S. Geological Survey - Great Lakes Science Center


  • Christopher M. Holbrook, Aaron K. Jubar, Jessica M. Barber, Kevin Tallon, and Darryl W. Hondorp 2016 Telemetry narrows the search for sea lamprey spawning locations in the St. Clair-Detroit River System. Elsevier . Journal of Great Lakes Research 42 (5). pp. 1084-1091.

    Adult sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) abundance in Lake Erie has remained above targets set by fishery managers since 2005, possibly due to increased recruitment in the St. Clair-Detroit River System (SCDRS). Sea lamprey recruitment in the SCDRS poses an enormous challenge to sea lamprey control and assessment in Lake Erie because the SCDRS contains no dams to facilitate capture and discharge is at least an order of magnitude larger in the SCDRS than most other sea lamprey-producing tributaries in the Great Lakes. As a first step toward understanding population size, spatial distribution, and spawning habitat of adult sea lampreys in the SCDRS, we used acoustic telemetry to determine where sea lampreys ceased migration (due to spawning, death, or both) among major regions of the SCDRS. All tagged sea lampreys released in the lower Detroit River (N = 27) moved upstream through the Detroit River and entered Lake St. Clair. After entering Lake St. Clair, sea lampreys entered the St. Clair River (N = 22), Thames River (N = 1), or were not detected again (N = 4). Many sea lampreys (10 of 27) were last observed moving downstream (“fallback”) but we were unable to determine if those movements occurred before or after spawning, or while sea lampreys were dead or alive. Regardless of whether estimates of locations where sea lampreys ceased migration were based on the most upstream region occupied or final region occupied, most sea lampreys ceased migration in the St. Clair River or Lake St. Clair. Results suggest that spawning and rearing in the St. Clair River could be an important determinant of sea lamprey recruitment in the SCDRS and may direct future assessment and control activities in that system.

    Contribution #2038
  • Meredith B. Nevers, Kasia Przybyla-Kelly, Ashley Spoljaric, Dawn Shively, Richard L. Whitman, and Muruleedhara N. Byappanahalli 2016 Freshwater wrack along Great Lakes coasts harbors Escherichia coli: Potential for bacterial transfer between watershed environments. Elsevier . Journal of Great Lakes Research 42 (4). pp. 760-767.

    We investigated the occurrence, persistence, and growth potential of Escherichia coli associated with freshwater organic debris (i.e., wrack) frequently deposited along shorelines (shoreline wrack), inputs from rivers (river CPOM), and parking lot runoffs (urban litter). Samples were collected from 9 Great Lakes beaches, 3 creeks, and 4 beach parking lots. Shoreline wrack samples were mainly composed of wood chips, straw, sticks, leaf litter, seeds, feathers, and mussel shells; creek and parking lot samples included dry grass, straw, seeds, wood chips, leaf/pine needle litter; soil particles were present in parking lot samples only. E. coli concentrations (most probable number, MPN) were highly variable in all sample types: shoreline wrack frequently reached 105/g dry weight (dw), river CPOM ranged from 81 to 7,916/g dw, and urban litter ranged from 0.5 to 24,952/g dw. Sequential rinsing studies showed that 61–87% of E. coli concentrations were detected in the first wash of shoreline wrack, with declining concentrations associated with 4–8 subsequent washings; viable counts were still detected even after 8 washes. E. coli grew readily in shoreline wrack and river CPOM incubated at 35 °C. At 30 °C, growth was only detected in river CPOM and not in shoreline wrack or urban litter, but the bacteria persisted for at least 16 days. In summary, freshwater wrack is an understudied component of the beach ecosystem that harbors E. coli and thus likely influences estimations of water quality and the microbial community in the nearshore as a result of transfer between environments.

    Contribution #2036
  • Michael J. Hansen, Charles P. Madenjian, Jeffrey W. Slade, Todd B. Steeves, Pedro R. Almeida, Bernardo R. Quintella 2016 Population ecology of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) as an invasive species in the Laurentian Great Lakes and an imperiled species in Europe. Springer . Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 26 (3). pp. 509-535.

    The sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus (Linnaeus) is both an invasive non-native species in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America and an imperiled species in much of its native range in North America and Europe. To compare and contrast how understanding of population ecology is useful for control programs in the Great Lakes and restoration programs in Europe, we review current understanding of the population ecology of the sea lamprey in its native and introduced range. Some attributes of sea lamprey population ecology are particularly useful for both control programs in the Great Lakes and restoration programs in the native range. First, traps within fish ladders are beneficial for removing sea lampreys in Great Lakes streams and passing sea lampreys in the native range. Second, attractants and repellants are suitable for luring sea lampreys into traps for control in the Great Lakes and guiding sea lamprey passage for conservation in the native range. Third, assessment methods used for targeting sea lamprey control in the Great Lakes are useful for targeting habitat protection in the native range. Last, assessment methods used to quantify numbers of all life stages of sea lampreys would be appropriate for measuring success of control in the Great Lakes and success of conservation in the native range.

    Contribution #2031
  • Heather A. Braun, Kurt P. Kowalski, and Katherine Hollins 2016 Applying the collective impact approach to address non-native species: a case study of the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative. Springer . Biological Invasions

    To address the invasion of non-native Phragmites in the Great Lakes, researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey—Great Lakes Science Center partnered with the Great Lakes Commission in 2012 to establish the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (GLPC). The GLPC is a regional-scale partnership established to improve collaboration among stakeholders and increase the effectiveness of non-native Phragmites management and research. Rather than forming a traditional partnership with a narrowly defined goal, the GLPC follows the principles of collective impact to engage stakeholders, guide progress, and align resources to address this complex, regional challenge. In this paper, the concept and tenets of collective impact are described, the GLPC is offered as a model for other natural resource-focused collective impact efforts, and steps for establishing collaboratives are presented. Capitalizing on the interactive collective impact approach, the GLPC is moving toward a broadly accepted common agenda around which agencies and individuals will be able to better align their actions and generate measureable progress in the regional campaign to protect healthy, diverse ecosystems from damage caused by non-native Phragmites.

    Contribution #2030
  • Keith Clay, Zackery R.C. Shearin, Kimberly A. Bourke, Wesley A. Bickford, and Kurt P. Kowalski 2016 Diversity of fungal endophytes in non-native Phragmites australis in the Great Lakes. Springer . Biological Invasions

    Plant–microbial interactions may play a key role in plant invasions. One common microbial interaction takes place between plants and fungal endophytes when fungi asymptomatically colonize host plant tissues. The objectives of this study were to isolate and sequence fungal endophytes colonizing non-native Phragmites australis in the Great Lakes region to evaluate variation in endophyte community composition among three host tissue types and three geographical regions. We collected entire ramets from multiple clones and populations, surface sterilized plant tissues, and plated replicate tissue samples from leaves, stems, and rhizomes on corn meal agar plates to culture and isolate fungal endophytes. Isolates were then subjected to Sanger sequencing of the ITS region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Sequences were compared to fungal databases to define operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that were analyzed statistically for community composition. In total, we obtained 173 endophyte isolates corresponding to 55 OTUs, 39 of which were isolated only a single time. The most common OTU corresponded most closely to Sarocladium strictum and comprised 25 % of all fungal isolates. More OTUs were found in stem tissues, but endophyte diversity was greatest in rhizome tissues. PERMANOVA analyses indicated significant differences in endophyte communities among tissue types, geographical regions, and the interaction between those factors, but no differences among individual ramets were detected. The functional role of the isolated endophytes is not yet known, but one genus isolated here (Stagonospora) has been reported to enhance Phragmites growth. Understanding the diversity and functions of Phragmites endophytes may provide targets for control measures based on disrupting host plant/endophyte interactions.

    Contribution #2026
  • William Schumacher, Martin A. Stapanian, Barbara K. Andreas, and Brian Gara 2016 Number of Genera as a Potential Screening Tool for Assessing Quality of Bryophyte Communities in Ohio Wetlands. Springer . Wetlands 36 (4). pp. 771-778.

    Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) have numerous advantages as indicators of environmental quality. A quality assessment index for bryophyte species assemblages (BQAI) was developed for the State of Ohio, USA. Reliable identification of bryophytes to species often requires considerable training, practice, and time. In contrast, reliable identification to genera for most bryophytes in Ohio requires much less training. We identified 110 bryophyte species (14 liverworts and 96 mosses) belonging to 69 genera (13 liverwort and 56 moss) in 45 wetlands (27 emergent, 13 forested, and 5 shrub) in Ohio. As expected, there were more genera and higher BQAI scores in forested than in emergent wetlands. Number of genera was highly correlated (r?=?0.9) with BQAI in emergent and forested wetlands and for the combined set of wetlands. Number of genera and BQAI responded almost identically to an index of wetland disturbance. The results suggest that number of genera has potential as a screening tool for assessing bryophyte community quality in wetlands in some regions.

    Contribution #2025
  • Imed Djemali, Jean Guillard, and Daniel L. Yule 2016 Seasonal and diel effects on acoustic fish biomass estimates: application to a shallow reservoir with untargeted common carp (Cyprinus carpio). CSIRO Publishing . Marine & Freshwater Research

    The aim of the present study was to understand how seasonal fish distributions affect acoustically derived fish biomass estimates in a shallow reservoir in a semi-arid country (Tunisia). To that end, sampling events were performed during four seasons (spring (June), summer (September), autumn (December) and winter (March)) that included day and night surveys. A Simrad EK60 echosounder, equipped with two 120-kHz split-beam transducers for simultaneous horizontal and vertical beaming, was used to sample the entire water column. Surveys during spring and summer and daytime hours of winter were deemed unusable owing to high methane flux from the sediment, and during the day survey of autumn, fish were close to the reservoir bottom leading to low detectability. It follows that acoustic surveys should be conducted only at night during the cold season (December–March) for shallow reservoirs having carp Cyprinus carpio (L.) as the dominant species. Further, night-time biomass estimates during the cold season declined significantly (P < 0.001) from autumn to winter. Based on our autumn night-time survey, overall fish biomass in the Bir-Mcherga Reservoir was high (mean (± s.d.) 185 ± 98 tonnes (Mg)), but annual fishery exploitation is low (19.3–24.1 Mg) because the fish biomass is likely dominated by invasive carp not targeted by fishers. The results suggest that controlling carp would help improve the fishery.

    Contribution #2024
  • Adrian A. Vasquez, Patrick L. Hudson, Masanori Fujimoto, Kevin M. Keeler, Patricia M. Armenio, and Jeffrey L. Ram 2016 Eurytemora carolleeae in the Laurentian Great Lakes revealed by phylogenetic and morphological analysis. Elsevier . Journal of Great Lakes Research 42 (4). pp. 802-811.

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes, specimens of Eurytemora have been reported as Eurytemora affinis since its invasion in the late 1950s. During an intensive collection of aquatic invertebrates for morphological and molecular identification in Western Lake Erie in 2012-2013, several specimens of Eurytemora were collected. Analysis of these specimens identified them as the recently described species Eurytemora carolleeae Alekseev and Souissi 2011. This result led us to assess E. carolleeae’s identifying features, geographic distribution and historical presence in the Laurentian Great Lakes in view of its recent description in 2011. Cytochrome oxidase I (COI) DNA sequences of Eurytemora specimens were identified as closer (2 - 4% different) to recently described E. carolleeae than to most E. affinis sequences (14% different). Eurytemora from other areas of the Great Lakes and from North American rivers as far west as South Dakota (Missouri River) and east to Delaware (Christina River) also keyed to E. carolleeae. Morphological analysis of archival specimens from 1962 and from all the Great Lakes was identified as E. carolleeae. Additionally, Eurytemora drawings in previous publications were reassessed to determine if the species was E. carolleeae and are reported here. Additional morphological characters that may distinguish North American E. carolleeae from other taxa are also described. We conclude that E. carolleeae is the correct name for the species of Eurytemora that has inhabited the Great Lakes since its invasion, as established by both morphological and COI sequence comparisons to reference keys and sequence databases in present and archival specimens.

    Contribution #2021
  • Nicholas S. Johnson, William D. Swink, Heather A. Dawson, and Michael L. Jones 2016 Effects of Coded-Wire-Tagging on Stream-Dwelling Sea Lamprey Larvae. Taylor & Francis . North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26 (5). pp. 1059-1067.

    The effects of coded wire tagging Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus larvae from a known-aged stream-dwelling population were assessed. Tagged larvae were significantly shorter on average than untagged larvae from 3 to 18 months after tagging. However, 30 months after tagging, the length distribution of tagged and untagged larvae did not differ and tagged Sea Lampreys were in better condition (i.e., higher condition factor) and more likely to have undergone metamorphosis than the untagged population. The reason why tagged larvae were more likely to metamorphose is not clear, but the increased likelihood of metamorphosis could have been a compensatory response to the period of slower growth after tagging. Slower growth after tagging was consistent across larval size-classes, so handling and displacement from quality habitat during the early part of the growing season was likely the cause rather than the tag burden. The tag effects observed in this study, if caused by displacement and handling, may be minimized in future studies if tagging is conducted during autumn after growth has concluded for the year.

    Contribution #2018
  • Ethan J. Jordbro, Richard T. Di Rocco, Istvan Imre, Nicholas S. Johnson, and Grant E. Brown 2016 White sucker Catostomus commersonii respond to conspecific and sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus alarm cues but not potential predator cues. Elsevier . Journal of Great Lakes Research 42 (4). pp. 849-853.

    Recent studies proposed the use of chemosensory alarm cues to control the distribution of invasive sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus populations in the Laurentian Great Lakes and necessitate the evaluation of sea lamprey chemosensory alarm cues on valuable sympatric species such as white sucker. In two laboratory experiments, 10 replicate groups (10 animals each) of migratory white suckers were exposed to deionized water (control), conspecific whole-body extract, heterospecific whole-body extract (sea lamprey) and two potential predator cues (2-phenylethylamine HCl (PEA HCl) and human saliva) during the day, and exposed to the first four of the above cues at night. White suckers avoided the conspecific and the sea lamprey whole-body extract both during the day and at night to the same extent. Human saliva did not induce avoidance during the day. PEA HCl did not induce avoidance at a higher concentration during the day, or at night at the minimum concentration that was previously shown to induce maximum avoidance by sea lamprey under laboratory conditions. Our findings suggest that human saliva and PEA HCl may be potential species-specific predator cues for sea lamprey.

    Contribution #2017


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