Date of Award

5-10-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research

First Advisor

Fisk, Aaron

Second Advisor

Hondorp, Darryl

Keywords

Diet, Huron Erie Corridor, Lake Sturgeon, Migration, Niche, Stable Isotope

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

Research surrounding lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) feeding ecology in the Great Lakes is dated compared to other aspects of their ecology, despite their threatened status. Recent research has demonstrated migration polymorphisms in lake sturgeon from the Lake Huron-to-Lake Erie corridor (HEC), but dietary links are lacking in this system. This knowledge gap led to the question of whether or not lake sturgeon feeding ecology varies both temporally and spatially within the HEC. We found adult lake sturgeon were generalist feeders in this system. After the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) invasion, differences in isotopic niches were observed across age-classes. Mean stable isotopes were similar across migration behaviours and location, however niche sizes ranged from 3.1‰ to 8.5‰. Findings suggest diet estimates of lake sturgeon are not transferable across study sites. This interdisciplinary approach of combining movement and feeding ecology can be applied to other species and other study systems.

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