Date of Award
Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research
Fryer, Brian (Earth & Environmental Sciences)
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Western Lake Erie receives tributary inputs that form open-lake plumes with distinct chemical, physical, and biological properties. I explored their importance to yellow perch (Perca flavescens) recruitment by testing two related hypotheses: 1) survival of larvae would be greater in the nutrient-rich Maumee River plume versus non-plume waters; and 2) warm temperature and high zooplankton (prey) that lead to fast larval growth would underlie survivorship differences. As expected, larval survival was higher in Maumee River plume versus non-Maumee waters during 2006 and 2007. This survival difference was unexpectedly unrelated to zooplankton availability or temperature (i.e., bottom-up effects were unimportant). Instead, I suggest that high turbidity in the Maumee River plume offered a survival advantage over non-plume waters by reducing predation mortality on larvae (i.e., top-down effects appear important). These findings should help fisheries management agencies better understand and forecast yellow perch recruitment variation in Lake Erie.
Reichert, Julie, "River Plume Effects on Yellow Perch Growth, Survival, and Recruitment in Lake Erie" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 367.