Scheduled completion date: April 2014
LCC funding: $147,907
Richard Kraus, U.S. Geological Survey
The project addresses regional climate change effects on aquatic food webs in the Great Lakes, and will develop fishery management tools that characterize food web changes to support efficient monitoring and adaptive management. Researchers are developing a comparative analysis of trophic interactions in fisheries from three ecotones of Lake Erie representing scenarios that may occur in other Great Lakes if current climate trends continue. Cool water fish guilds in Lake Erie’s central basin are seasonally squeezed vertically in the water column and horizontally towards the eastern basin, and into shallower waters by hypoxia. This seasonal change forces cool and cold water fish guilds to overlap with consequences to food web dynamics. Researchers will use standard dietary and biochemical techniques to identify critical food web pathways and analytical metrics that can serve as synoptic measures of the effect of these physical forces on food web structure and fishery resources.