Lake Erie Center

Aquatic Ecology Lab - Areas of Research

Dreissenid mussels as ecosystem engineers 

Goal: Describe Dreissena effects on ecosystem function

  • Dreissena donate resources to bottom algae
  • Dreissena affect native mayfly habitat selection

Overview presentations:

  • Overview Slideshow: Download PPT || PDF
  • Dreissena effects on benthic algae: Download PPT || PDF

UT Graduate Researchers: Kristen DeVanna, Patricia Armenio
Collaborators: Cornell, Suny-ESF, USGS, UT, Buffalo State
Support: NYSeaGrant, Lake Erie Protection Fund, EPA-GLRI

Publications: Burlakova et al. 2014DeVanna et al. 2013; Mayer et al 2013; DeVanna et al 2011; Limburg et al. 2010; Cecala et. al 2008; Zhu et al 2008; Lohner et al 2007; Qin et al 2007; Zhu et al. 2007a; Zhu et al 2007b; Zhu et al. 2006; Mayer et al. 2001; Mayer et al. 2000

The Maumee River-Bay ecosystem: critical fish habitat
Goal: Quantify river habitat use by walleye and other fish to assess Maumee contribution to lake-wide fishery.

  • Greater diversity of larval fish compared with 1970s suggests partial recovery; consistent with improved water quality
  • About 500,000 adult walleye enter the river to spawn
  • About 50 million larval walleye produced each year (2010-13)
  • Migrating fish may affect river foodweb 

UT Graduate Researchers: Jeremy Pritt, Mark DuFour, Brian Schmidt
Collaborators: DOW, USGS, NOAA, BGSU, OSU
Support: NOAA SeaGrant, OH DNR-DOW, USGS

Publications: Pritt et al. 2013

Nearshore community: shoreline habitat matters!
Goal: Quantify effect of shoreline alterations on number of fish species

  • Partnership with Ohio DNR-DOW
  • Statistically sound sampling protocol for nearshore fish community for DOW
  • Effect of armor depends on background habitat
  • Number of fish species always higher with shoreline vegetation
  • Greater benthic invertebrate diversity with shoreline vegetation 

UT Graduate Researchers: Jason Ross, Rachel Kuhaneck
Collaborators: DOW
Support: DNR-DOW, GLRI

Hydroacoustic determination of walleye distribution in Lake Erie

Goal: Compliment long-term gill-net sampling with hydroacoustics to improve population estimate

  • Partnership with Ohio DNR-DOW

UT Graduate Researcher: Mark DuFour
Collaborators: OH DNR-DOW, USGS
Support: OH DNR-DOW

Land – Water – Fish Connections
Goal: Link changes in the watershed & climate to fish growth

  • Lab: Young yellow perch feed at low levels with algal turbidity
  • IBM: Extended algal blooms lower growth of young fish
  • SWAT & Simulations: Expected temperature increases can extend algal blooms and lower fish growth
  • SWAT & Simulations: Current land-use promotes algal blooms & smaller yellow perch

UT Graduate Researchers: Brian Elkington, Colleen Wellington, Nathan Manning
Collaborators: OH DNR-DOW, USGS, Cornell
Support: GLFC, LEPF

Publications: Wellington et al. 2010; Manning et al. 2013


Aquatic Ecology Lab










Last Updated: 8/18/17