Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Zebra, Quagga Mussels Trump Pollution as Change Agents in Lake Erie

11.07.2014

Over the last half century, Lake Erie has been known for its level of pollution and its population of invasive species. Of the two, the invasive species seems to have had the greater effect on the lake’s zoobenthic community.

That community—creatures living on, near, or below the bottom of the lake—is “fundamentally changed from its past,” according to a paper published online in the current journal of the Journal of Great Lakes Research. Lyubov Burlakova, who works with the Great Lakes Center at SUNY Buffalo State, is the first author. The coauthors are Alexander Y. Karatayev, director of the center; Christopher Pennuto, a research associate with the center and biology professor at Buffalo State; and Christine Mayer, associate professor of ecology at the University of Toledo.


SUNY Buffalo State

Quagga and zebra mussels.

“The story of Lake Erie shows how profoundly human activity can affect an ecosystem,” said Burlakova. She traces that activity as far back as the early 1800s, when people cut down forests and built sawmills and dams. In 1918, the first report documenting the deterioration of water quality was published by the International Joint Commission.

The number of people living in the Great Lakes basin grew dramatically throughout the first half of the twentieth century. By the 1950s, a declining mayfly population in the western basin of Lake Erie indicated widespread anthropogenic eutrophication (human activities resulting in more nutrients such as phosphorous in the water, leading in turn to decreased oxygen levels). As a result, the benthos population became dominated by species that could survive with much lower oxygen levels throughout the 1960s.

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972 was signed by Canada and the United States. The authors report that subsequently the agreement, which introduced bans on the sale of phosphate detergents, improvements in waste water collection and treatment systems, and reductions in industry discharges, did indeed help to improve water quality. The benthic species that were dominant during the time of the most severe pollution declined as the pollution, especially phosphorus, abated.

However, in 1986, Dreissena polymorpha, the zebra mussel, was detected in Lake Erie, followed in 1989 by Dreissena rostriformis, the quagga mussel. “The zebra and quagga mussels are ecosystem engineers,” said Burlakova. Both are filter feeders that were brought to the Great Lakes by transoceanic shipping, and they out-compete native filter feeders, which then decrease in abundance.

After analyzing historical data on benthic community composition in Lake Erie over the last 50 years, the authors conclude that the lake’s benthic community has changed significantly, even after taking into account the challenges presented by differences in sampling design, gear and preservation techniques, and taxonomic resolution over the years.

Although both zebra and quagga mussel populations have most likely peaked—the zebra mussel around 1989 and the quagga mussel between 1998 and 2002—another invader, the round goby, has been preying on selected benthic groups, continuing to affect the composition of the community. However, the impact of the Dreissena invasion appears to have had a larger effect on the benthic community than all the other changes over the last five decades.

Mary Durlak | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.buffalostate.edu

Further reports about: Buffalo Lake Lakes Pollution Quagga Zebra mussels ecosystem mussel quagga mussels species

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>