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USGS - science for a changing world

Understanding How Climate Change will Impact Aquatic Food Webs in the Great Lakes

Developing Fish Trophic Interaction Indicators of Climate Change for the Great Lakes

Dates

Start Date
2012-09-01
End Date
2016-04-30
Release Date
2012

Summary

This project addressed regional climate change effects on aquatic food webs in the Great Lakes. We sought insights by examining Lake Erie as a representative system with a high level of anthropogenic impacts, strong nutrient gradients, seasonal hypoxia, and spatial overlap of cold- and cool-water fish guilds. In Lake Erie and in large embayments throughout the Great Lakes basin, this situation is a concern for fishery managers, as climate change may exacerbate hypoxia and reduce habitat volume for some species. We examined fish community composition, fine-scale distribution, prey availability, diets, and biochemical tracers for dominant fishes from study areas with medium-high nutrient levels (mesotrophic, Fairport study area), and [...]

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LakeErie_MPD.jpg
“Lake Erie - Public domain”
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