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U.S. Geological Survey - Great Lakes Science Center


  • Ke Li, Tyler J. Buchinger, Ugo Bussy, Skye D. Fissette, Nicholas S. Johnson, and Weiming Li 2015 Quantification of 15 bile acids in lake charr feces by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Elsevier . Journal of Chromatography B

    Many fishes are hypothesized to use bile acids (BAs) as chemical cues, yet quantification of BAs in biological samples and the required methods remain limited. Here, we present an UHPLC-MS/MS method for simultaneous, sensitive, and rapid quantification of 15 BAs, including free, taurine, and glycine conjugated BAs, and application of the method to fecal samples from lake charr (Salvelinus namaycush). The analytes were separated on a C18 column with acetonitrile–water (containing 7.5 mM ammonium acetate and 0.1% formic acid) as mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.25 mL/min for 12 min. BAs were monitored with a negative electrospray triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (Xevo TQ-STM). Calibration curves of 15 BAs were linear over the concentration range of 1.00–5,000 ng/mL. Validation revealed that the method was specific, accurate, and precise. The method was applied to quantitative analysis of feces extract of fry lake charr and the food they were eating. The concentrations of analytes CA, TCDCA, TCA, and CDCA were 242.3, 81.2, 60.7, and 36.2 ng/mg, respectively. However, other taurine conjugated BAs, TUDCA, TDCA, and THDCA, were not detected in feces of lake charr. Interestingly, TCA and TCDCA were detected at high concentrations in food pellets, at 71.9 and 38.2 ng/mg, respectively. Application of the method to feces samples from lake charr supported a role of BAs as chemical cues, and will enhance further investigation of BAs as chemical cues in other fish species.

    Contribution #1948
  • Nicholas S. Johnson, Michael J. Siefkes, C. Michael Wagner, Gale Bravener, Todd Steeves, Michael Twohey, and Weiming Li 2015 Factors influencing capture of invasive sea lamprey in traps baited with a synthesized sex pheromone component. Springer . Journal of Chemical Ecology 41 (10). pp. 913-923.

    The sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, is emerging as a model organism for understanding how pheromones can be used for manipulating vertebrate behavior in an integrated pest management program. In a previous study, a synthetic sex pheromone component 7a,12a, 24-trihydroxy-5a-cholan-3-one 24-sulfate (3kPZS) was applied to sea lamprey traps in eight streams at a final in-stream concentration of 10-12 M. Application of 3kPZS increased sea lamprey catch, but where and when 3kPZS had the greatest impact was not determined. Here, by applying 3kPZS to additional streams, we determined that overall increases in yearly exploitation rate (proportion of sea lampreys that were marked, released, and subsequently recaptured) were highest (20–40 %) in wide streams (~40 m) with low adult sea lamprey abundance (<1000). Wide streams with low adult abundance may be representative of low-attraction systems for adult sea lamprey and, in the absence of other attractants (larval odor, sex pheromone), sea lamprey may have been more responsive to a partial sex pheromone blend emitted from traps. Furthermore, we found that the largest and most consistent responses to 3kPZS were during nights early in the trapping season, when water temperatures were increasing. This may have occurred because, during periods of increasing water temperatures, sea lamprey become more active and males at large may not have begun to release sex pheromone. In general, our results are consistent with those for pheromones of invertebrates, which are most effective when pest density is low and when pheromone competition is low.

    Contribution #1947
  • Paul C. Kusnierz, Christopher M. Holbrook, David L. Feldman 2015 An evaluation of a bed instability index as an indicator of habitat quality in mountain streams of the northwestern United States. Springer . Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187 (8).

    Managers of aquatic resources benefit from indices of habitat quality that are reproducible and easy to measure, demonstrate a link between habitat quality and biota health, and differ between human-impacted (i.e., managed) and reference (i.e., nonimpacted or minimally impacted) conditions. The instability index (ISI) is an easily measured index that describes the instability of a streambed by relating the tractive force of a stream at bankfull discharge to the median substrate size. Previous studies have linked ISI to biological condition but have been limited to comparisons of sites within a single stream or among a small number of streams. We tested ISI as an indicator of human impact to habitat and biota in mountain streams of the northwestern USA. Among 1428 sites in six northwestern states, ISI was correlated with other habitat measures (e.g., residual pool depth, percent fine sediment) and indices of biotic health (e.g., number of intolerant macroinvertebrate taxa, fine sediment biotic index) and differed between managed and reference sites across a range of stream types and ecoregions. While ISI could be useful in mountain streams throughout the world, this index may be of particular interest to aquatic resource managers in the northwestern USA where a large dataset, from which ISI can be calculated, exists.

    Contribution #1946
  • Roger S. Fujioka, Helena M. Solo-Gabriele, Muruleedhara N. Byappanahalli, and Marek Kirs 2015 U.S. Recreational Water Quality Criteria: A Vision for the Future. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute . International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12 (7). pp. 7752-7776.

    This manuscript evaluates the U.S. Recreational Water Quality Criteria (RWQC) of 2012, based upon discussions during a conference held 11–13 March 2013, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The RWQC of 2012 did not meet expectations among the research community because key recommended studies were not completed, new data to assess risks to bathers exposed to non-point sources of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) were not developed, and the 2012 RWQC did not show marked improvements in strategies for assessing health risks for bathers using all types of recreational waters. The development of the 2012 RWQC was limited in scope because the epidemiologic studies at beach sites were restricted to beaches with point sources of pollution and water samples were monitored for only enterococci. The vision for the future is development of effective RWQC guidelines based on epidemiologic and quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) studies for sewage specific markers, as well as human enteric pathogens so that health risks for bathers at all recreational waters can be determined. The 2012 RWQC introduced a program for states and tribes to develop site-specific water quality criteria, and in theory this approach can be used to address the limitations associated with the measurements of the traditional FIB.

    Contribution #1944
  • Martin A. Stapanian, Christopher A. Myrick 2015 Ecology, culture, and management of Burbot: an introduction. Springer . Hydrobiologia
    Contribution #1942
  • Nicola Craig, Stuart E. Jones, Brian C. Weidel, and Christopher T. Solomon 2015 Habitat, not resource availability, limits consumer production in lake ecosystems. John Wiley & Sons . Limnology and Oceanography 60 (6). pp. 2079-2089.

    Food web productivity in lakes can be limited by dissolved organic carbon (DOC), which reduces fish production by limiting the abundance of their zoobenthic prey. We demonstrate that in a set of 10 small, north temperate lakes spanning a wide DOC gradient, these negative effects of high DOC concentrations on zoobenthos production are driven primarily by availability of warm, well-oxygenated habitat, rather than by light limitation of benthic primary production as previously proposed. There was no significant effect of benthic primary production on zoobenthos production after controlling for oxygen, even though stable isotope analysis indicated that zoobenthos do use this resource. Mean whole-lake zoobenthos production was lower in high-DOC lakes with reduced availability of oxygenated habitat, as was fish biomass. These insights improve understanding of lake food webs and inform management in the face of spatial variability and ongoing temporal change in lake DOC concentrations.

    Contribution #1940
  • David N. Zaya, Stacey A. Leicht-Young, Noel B. Pavlovic, Kevin A. Feldheim, and Mary V. Ashley 2015 Genetic characterization of hybridization between native and invasive bittersweet vines (Celastrus spp.). Springer . Biological Invasions

    Hybridization associated with species introductions can accelerate the decline of native species. The main objective of this study was to determine if the decline of a North American liana (American bittersweet, Celastrus scandens) in the eastern portion of its range is related to hybridization with an introduced congener (oriental bittersweet, C. orbiculatus). We used newly characterized microsatellite loci, a maternally-inherited chloroplast DNA marker, and field observation to survey individuals across the USA to determine the prevalence of hybrids, their importance in the invasion of C. orbiculatus, and the predominant direction of hybridization. We found that only 8.4 % of non-native genotypes were hybrids (20 of 239), and these hybrids were geographically widespread. Hybrids showed reduced seed set (decline of >98 %) and small, likely inviable pollen. Genetic analysis of a maternally inherited chloroplast marker showed that all 20 identified hybrids came from C. scandens seed parents. The strong asymmetry in pollen flow that favors fecundity in introduced males has the potential to greatly accelerate the decline of native species by wasting limited female reproductive effort.

    Contribution #1939
  • Melissa J. Johnson, Michael J. Hansen, and Michael J. Seider 2015 Effectiveness of a Refuge for Lake Trout in Western Lake Superior I: Empirical Analysis of Past Performance. Taylor & Francis . North American Journal of Fisheries Management 35 (5). pp. 988-1002.

    The Gull Island Shoal Refuge was created in 1976 in response to overfishing of the Lake Trout Salvelinus namaycush population in the Apostle Islands region of western Lake Superior. Our objective was to evaluate effectiveness of the refuge by determining whether Lake Trout abundance, growth, maturity, and mortality differed inside and outside the refuge. We compared abundance of wild and stocked fish captured inside and outside the refuge during spring large-mesh gill-net and summer graded-mesh gill-net surveys. We compared growth and mortality during four periods corresponding to four generations of wild Lake Trout, including the last generation that hatched before the refuge was instituted (sampled in 1981–1984) and three generations that were protected by the refuge (sampled in 1985–1992, 1993–2000, and 2001–2010). Maturity of wild fish inside and outside the refuge was compared only for the latter period (2001–2010) because maturity was not assessed earlier. After the refuge was created, wild Lake Trout abundance increased and stocked Lake Trout abundance decreased. Wild adults and juveniles were more abundant inside than outside the refuge, and stocked adults were less abundant inside than outside the refuge. Growth of wild fish did not differ inside versus outside the refuge before 2001, but wild fish grew faster to a shorter asymptotic length inside than outside the refuge during 2001–2010. Wild fish matured at a similar length but an older age inside than outside the refuge during 2001–2010. Survival of wild fish did not differ inside versus outside the refuge before 1993, but mortality was lower inside than outside the refuge during later periods (1993–2000 and 2001–2010). We conclude that the Gull Island Shoal Refuge enhanced the population growth of wild Lake Trout in the Apostle Islands region and should be retained in the future to sustain conditions that favor population growth.

    Contribution #1938
  • John B. Hume, Trevor D. Meckley, Nicholas S. Johnson, Thomas M. Luhring, Michael J. Siefkes, and C. Michael Wagner 2015 Application of a putative alarm cue hastens the arrival of invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) at a trapping location. NRC Research Press . Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

    The sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus is an invasive pest in the Laurentian Great Lakes basin, threatening the persistence of important commercial and recreational fisheries. There is substantial interest in developing effective trapping practices via the application of behavior-modifying semiochemicals (odors). Here we report on the effectiveness of utilizing repellent and attractant odors in a push-pull configuration, commonly employed to tackle invertebrate pests, to improve trapping efficacy at permanent barriers to sea lamprey migration. When a half-stream channel was activated by a naturally derived repellent odor (a putative alarm cue), we found that sea lamprey located a trap entrance significantly faster than when no odor was present as a result of their redistribution within the stream. The presence of a partial sex pheromone, acting as an attractant within the trap, was not found to further decrease the time to when sea lamprey located a trap entrance, relative to when the alarm cue alone was applied. Neither the application of alarm cue singly, or alarm cue and partial sex pheromone in combination, was found to improve the numbers of sea lamprey captured in the trap vs. when no odor was present - likely because nominal capture rate during control trials was unusually high during the study period. Behavioural guidance using these odors has the potential to both improve control of invasive non-native sea lamprey in the Great Lakes as well as improving the efficiency of fish passage devices used in the restoration of threatened lamprey species elsewhere.

    Contribution #1937
  • Richard T. Kraus, David H. Secor, Rebecca L. Wingate 2015 Testing the thermal-niche oxygen-squeeze hypothesis for estuarine striped bass. Springer . Environmental Biology of Fishes

    In many stratified coastal ecosystems, conceptual and bioenergetics models predict seasonal reduction in quality and quantity of fish habitat due to high temperatures and hypoxia. We tested these predictions using acoustic telemetry of 2 to 4 kg striped bass (Morone saxatilis Walbaum) and high-resolution spatial water quality sampling in the Patuxent River, a sub-estuary of the Chesapeake Bay, during 2008 and 2009. Striped bass avoided hypoxic (dissolved oxygen ≤2 mg·l−1) subpycnocline waters, but frequently occupied habitats with high temperatures (>25 °C) in the summer months, as cooler habitats were typically not available. Using traditional concepts of the seasonal thermal-niche oxygen-squeeze, most of the Patuxent estuary would be considered unsuitable habitat for adult striped bass during summer. Application of a bioenergetics model revealed that habitats selected by striped bass during summer would support positive growth rates assuming fish could feed at one-half of maximum consumption. Occupancy of the estuary during summer by striped bass in this study was likely facilitated by sufficient prey and innate tolerance of high temperatures by sub-adult fish of the size range that we tagged. Our results help extend the thermal-niche oxygen-squeeze hypothesis to native populations of striped bass in semi-enclosed coastal systems. Tolerance of for supraoptimal temperatures in our study supports recent suggestions by others that the thermal-niche concept for striped bass should be revised to include warmer temperatures.

    Contribution #1936


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