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Alterations of Lake Michigan Benthic Communities by the InvasiveColonial Hydroid, Cordylophora caspia: Effects on Fish Prey

The objective of this project is to determine the impact of the   invasive, Ponto-Caspian colonial hydroid, Cordylophora caspia on   benthic invertebrate communities in southern Lake Michigan. We   propose to address two fundamental questions related to the presence   of Cordylophora in southern Lake Michigan: 1) What is the predatory   role of this hydroid in Lake Michigan macrobenthic communities?, and   2) Does the filamentous structure of this hydroid enhance   macroinvertebrate abundances in zebra mussel colonies?    More specifically, we will determine how this benthic invertebrate   influences prey availability for fish. We propose a project   examining three objectives involving field and laboratory research   to assess the effects of Cordylophora on benthic invertebrates in   southwestern Lake Michigan: 1) document specific locations and diets   of Cordylophora (specifically at sites where it is associated with   zebra mussel colonies); 2) characterize feeding preferences of   Cordylophora on common Lake Michigan benthic invertebrates using   laboratory feeding experiments; 3) compare species composition and   abundances of invertebrates present in mussel colonies with and   without Cordylophora to assess the impact of this hydroid as a   predator that decreases fish food availability and/or as a   filamentous substratum that enhances invertebrate densities in   freshwater benthic invertebrate communities.     (Lake Michigan); (AIS); (aquatic invasive species); (aquatic   invasive plant); (aquatic invasive plants); (zebra mussel); (zebra   mussels); (Ponto-Caspian); (hydroid); (hydroids); (Cordylophora   caspia); (Cordylophora); (Dreissena polymorpha); (dreissenids);   (dreissenid); (benthos); (benthic); (invertebrates); (invertebrate);   (exotic species)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Exotic Species
Land Use and Habitat
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Michigan
State Province
Region Being Monitored
Near and OpenShore Waters
Resource Being Monitored
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Degradation of Benthos
Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Restrictions on Dredging Activities
Biology And Life History
Physiology and Behavior
Control And Mitigation
Biological Interactions (Predator/Prey)
Ecosystem Effects
Habitat (physical / chemical)
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
Aquatic Nuisance Species
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats

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