Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















WATER WORLD
Lake Erie Asian carp could hurt walleye; boost smallmouth bass
by Staff Writers
Ann Arbor MI (SPX) Jan 06, 2016


Previous predictions of Asian carp impacts in the Great Lakes have ranged widely. Some experts say Asian carp could decimate Great Lakes fisheries and food webs, while others suggest the effects would likely be minor because much of the Great Lakes is not a suitable habitat for Asian carp.

If they successfully invade Lake Erie, Asian carp could eventually account for about a third of the total weight of fish in the lake and could cause declines in most fish species - including prized sport and commercial fish such as walleye, according to a new computer modeling study.

However, most of the expected declines in Lake Erie will not be as extreme as some experts have predicted, according to the food-web study by the University of Michigan's Hongyan Zhang and colleagues from other American and Canadian research institutions. A few fish species, including smallmouth bass, would likely increase.

The study is the first to use a food-web model to examine the likely impacts of bighead and silver carp in Lake Erie. These plankton-eating Asian carp are established in watersheds close to the Great Lakes but not in the lakes themselves.

The invasive carp would likely affect Lake Erie's food web in two main ways: They would likely compete with native fish by eating their food, and juvenile Asian carp would likely become food for fish-eating fish.

According to the study, walleye, rainbow trout, gizzard shad and emerald shiners could all decline, with declines in emerald shiner of up to 37 percent. Smallmouth bass stood to gain the most, with increases of up to 16 percent.

A paper summarizing the findings was published online in the journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.

The model results suggest that Asian carp could eventually account for up to 34 percent of the total fish weight in the lake, said Zhang, assistant research scientist at U-M's Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research in the School of Natural Resources and Environment.

"Fortunately, the percentage would not be as high as it is today in the Illinois River, where Asian carp have caused large changes in the ecosystem and have affected human use of the river," she said.

Previous predictions of Asian carp impacts in the Great Lakes have ranged widely. Some experts say Asian carp could decimate Great Lakes fisheries and food webs, while others suggest the effects would likely be minor because much of the Great Lakes is not a suitable habitat for Asian carp.

Results of the new study fall somewhere between the two extremes.
"This study goes beyond previous efforts in two significant ways. It focuses on the food webs and - where model input data were not available - it includes uncertainty estimates from experts," said co-author Ed Rutherford, a fisheries biologist at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, a U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facility.

To include uncertainty in model predictions, team members interviewed 11 leading experts on Asian carp biology and Great Lakes ecology and fisheries, then incorporated the experts' estimates into the model. The experts were also asked to indicate the level of uncertainty associated with each statement they provided.

"We don't know how these two Asian carp species are going to do in Lake Erie, so we have to incorporate that uncertainty into our model projections," said co-author Doran Mason, a research ecologist at GLERL. "It's like using computer models to predict a hurricane's path and intensity and including the margin of error in the forecast."

The team has shared its Lake Erie results with Great Lakes resource managers to help inform decisions related to Asian carp. Of the Great Lakes, Erie may be most vulnerable to Asian carp invasion due to its proximity to waters where Asian carp exist, the presence of adequate food, and the availability of suitable spawning habitat.

The same research team is now working on modeling studies to predict Asian carp impacts in lakes Michigan, Huron and Ontario, as well as a study of the regional economic impacts associated with Asian carp in Lake Erie.

Other authors of the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society paper, in addition to Zhang, Rutherford and Mason, are Jason Breck of the University of Wisconsin; Marion Wittmann of University of Nevada-Reno; Roger Cooke of Resources for the Future and Delft University; David Lodge of the University of Notre Dame; John Rothlisberger of the U.S. Forest Service; Xinhua Zhu of Fisheries and Oceans Canada; and Timothy Johnson of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

.


Related Links
University of Michigan
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
WATER WORLD
River ecosystems show 'incredible' initial recovery after dam removal
Columbus OH (SPX) Jan 01, 2016
A songbird species that flourishes on the salmon-rich side of dams in the western United States struggles when it tries to nest on the side closed off from the fish and the nutrients they leave behind. But the songbird and the rest of the divided ecosystem rebounds, faster than some experts expected, when dams come down and rivers are allowed to resume their natural flow. Two new studies l ... read more


WATER WORLD
Obama set to hold town hall meeting on gun control

Natural catastrophe losses total $90 bn in 2015: Munich Re

Bus passengers airlifted as Scotland bears floods brunt

Britain's floods: causes, costs and consequences

WATER WORLD
Chameleons deliver powerful tongue-lashing

UCLA researchers create exceptionally strong and lightweight new metal

Coulomb blockade in organic conductors found, a world first

Adjustable adhesion power

WATER WORLD
After delay, rehabilated Cape Cod turtles arrive in Florida

River ecosystems show 'incredible' initial recovery after dam removal

Reducing CO2 footprint of desal crucial to achieving water sustainability

Heatwaves, drought may curb global power output: study

WATER WORLD
Meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet releasing faster

Antarctic sea ice melt released carbon from oceans as ice age ended

Climate change altering Greenland ice sheet and accelerating sea level rise

Large and increasing methane emissions from northern lakes

WATER WORLD
Restoring natural habitats across farms will boost CO2 sinks

Manure applications elevate nitrogen accumulation and loss

The billion dollar game of strategy: The effect of farmers' decisions on pest control

China's COFCO to buy agri-arm of top Asian trader

WATER WORLD
Body recovered from river as UK reels from storms

Traces of Icelandic volcanoes in a northeastern German lake

Hundreds evacuated as cyclone slams into Tonga

Search for more victims as deadly US floods stress levees

WATER WORLD
Mali extends state of emergency until March 31

Mali pro-govt armed group accuses France of killing 4 fighters

Malawi suspends 63 civil servants over stolen US funds

Expanded use of yuan to help revive Zimbabwe's economy: Mugabe

WATER WORLD
Carnegie Mellon develops new method for analyzing synaptic density

Why the real King Kong became extinct

Genomes of early Irish settlers sequenced

Same growth rate for farming, non-farming prehistoric people




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.