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Exploring the causes and consequences of type E botulism outbreaks at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Lake Michigan

Recent outbreaks of type E botulism have affected large numbers of   birds within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  In 2  7 the   National Park Service began investigating a widely publicized but   unconfirmed pathway for botulism transfer, addressing the following   questions: 1) Are anoxic conditions, required for type E toxin   production, present on the lake bottom?, 2) Is the type E toxin   present in key benthic food web components?, 3) Is the type E toxin   present in dead fish and birds?, 4) Have the affected birds consumed   key food web components?  At each of four sites, basic water quality   conditions were monitored continuously near the lake bottom,   shorelines were monitored for bird carcasses, suspected food web   components were collected to evaluate toxin presence, trophic   position, and carbon sources, and necropsies, type E toxin assays,   and gut content analysis were performed for a subset of dead birds.    Results from the 2  7 studies indicate that dissolved oxygen was   plentiful in nearshore areas, except in areas of heavy Cladophora   deposition.  Nearshore temperature fluctuations appeared to precede   peaks in bird die-offs.  Type E toxin was confirmed as the cause of   death in all birds submitted for analysis, but was not detected in   any of the monitored food web components on any sampling date.  Gut   content analysis indicated that 17% of the affected birds had   consumed round gobies and 33% had consumed dreissenid mussels.    However, several species of fish-eating birds did not have goby or   dreissenid remains present in their guts, and round gobies did not   appear to rely heavily on dreissenid mussels as a food source at   either study location.    Pilot studies will continue in 2  8, addressing additional   questions: 1) Are die-off events temporally related to lake turnover   and hydrodynamics?, 2) Are die-offs spatially related to round goby   distribution, density, and size structure?, 3) Are anoxia and   botulinum toxin common in deeper water and within Cladophora   depositional areas?   More intensive studies are planned for 2  9-  2 11, with funding from the National Park Service's Natural   Resources Preservation Program.    (botulism); (C. botulinum); (Clostridium botulinum); (type E); (type   E botulism); (Lake Michigan); (AIS); (aquatic invasive species);   (ANS); (aquatic nuisance species); (round gobies); (round goby);   (dreissenids); (dreissenid); (Neogobius melanostomus)

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Ecosystem
Impact of Pollutants
Exotic Species
Processes
Natural Ecological Processes
Natural Physical/Geological Processes
Land Use and Habitat
Shoreline
Resource Management
Fisheries
Wildlife
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Michigan
State Province
Michigan
Purpose of Project
Resource Management
Number of Sampling Entities
2-4
Data Availability
Digital
Geo-referenced
Region Being Monitored
Benthos
Near and OpenShore Waters
Resource Being Monitored
Bottom Sediment
Fisheries
Hydrologic / Hydrometric / Climatic
Societal/Surface Water
Biology And Life History
Parasites and Diseases
Control And Mitigation
Biological Interactions (Predator/Prey)
Ecosystem Effects
Nutrient / Contaminant Cycles
Prevention and Introduction
Identification of Potential Invaders
Spread of Established ANS Populations
Improvement of Initial Detection
Socio-economic Consideration and Analysis
Resource Management Issues
Annex Numbers
Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
Research & Development
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
Mass transfer of pollutants between GL Basin Ecosystem components
General
Monitoring
Aquatic Nuisance Species
Annex
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
    Mass transfer of pollutants between GL Basin Ecosystem components

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