Skip to main content

Effects of Hypoxia on Pelagic Food Webs

As a direct consequence of eutrophication, there has been an   alarming increase in the spatial and temporal extent of low oxygen   bottom waters in estuarine and coastal waters. Although hypoxia is   prevalent in many US coastal systems, such as Chesapeake Bay and the   Laurentian Great Lakes, most prominent has been the advancement of   hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOMEX). The temporal and   spatial extent of hypoxia in the NGOMEX has increased as a result of   excessive nitrogen inputs from the Mississippi River. Despite this   increase in hypoxia, the trophic consequences of low oxygen waters   on pelagic communities remain poorly understood. Given the economic   importance of the Gulf of Mexico commercial fisheries (about 2 % of   the U.S.'s total domestic fishery landings representing about  $991 million) and recreational fishing (generating ~3 % of the   nation's saltwater fishing expenditures and supporting nearly 25% of   the nation's recreational saltwater jobs), it is imperative that   knowledge of the ecosystem effects of hypoxia in NGOMEX be increased.    Objectives:  - Conduct high-resolution mapping of the NGOMEX pelagic food web  (including bacteria, phytoplankton, microzooplankton,   mesozooplankton, and fish) in relation to hypoxia;  - Integrate these ecosystem measurements through a variety of models  designed to assess the effects of hypoxia on NGOMEX pelagic food   webs and production;  - Quantify habitat suitability for economically and ecologically   important fishes; and  - Provide tools to forecast food-web interactions, habitat   suitability, and fish production in relation to hypoxia.    (eutrophication); (hypoxia); (hypoxic); (Gulf of Mexico);   (Mississippi River); (nutrient loading); (nitrogen); (nitrogen   loading); (nutrients); (nutrient)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Doran MasonPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 2 projects
Edward RutherfordResearcher
Associated with 2 projects

Funding 1 projects for a total of $1,240,000.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Nutrients, Including Phosphorus
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Out of Basin
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Annex 17
Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity

The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.