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PATTERNS AND PROCESSES OF CISCO TROPHIC DIFFERENTIATION IN RELATION TO FOOD WEB STRUCTURING USING ECOLOGICAL TRACERS

Successful reestablishment of native deepwater ciscoes (Coregonus   spp.) in the Laurentian Great Lakes may be limited by the   availability of suitable niches (Ecological Opportunity Hypothesis).   The objectives of our research are to: (1) describe and compare   patterns of cisco morphological and taxonomic diversity within and   between Great Slave Lake and Lake Superior; (2) test predictions   generated by the Niche-partitioning Hypothesis to determine if   resource partitioning is a proximate ecological isolating mechanism   among cisco morphotypes; and (3) test predictions generated by the   Ecological Opportunity Hypothesis to assess whether competition for   niche space is a limiting factor in the reestablishment of native   coregonine diversity in the Great Lakes. Spatially and temporally   stratified gill net sampling will be conducted on Great Slave Lake   and Lake Superior during 2  9 and 2 1 . Fish collections will be   paired with food web (i.e., phytoplankton, zooplankton,   invertebrates) and physical habitat (e.g., depth, oxygen,   temperature) sampling. We will quantify age, growth, morphology,   buoyancy, food habits, prey availability, isotopic signatures (?15N   and ?13C), lipid composition, fatty acid indices, and reproductive   characteristics for ciscoes, their competitors, and their predators   in each lake. To describe patterns of cisco diversity, multivariate   ordinations of morphometric and ecological variables will be used to   test a priori identifications. These classifications will be   compared between lakes to determine if parallel patterns of   diversity exist. To test predictions of the Niche-partitioning   Hypothesis we will quantify niches using physical and trophic   resource variables in a discriminant function analysis. To test   predictions generated by the Ecological Opportunity Hypothesis we   will quantify niche overlap among food web members in and compare   trophic structuring using multivariate analyses (e.g., CCA and MDS).   Based on patterns of niche overlap, we will infer potential   competitive interactions under various reintroduction scenarios. Our   research will directly contribute to native fish restoration efforts   in the Laurentian Great Lakes by advancing the knowledge   on variability in cisco diversity, providing insights into the   ecological mechanisms shaping diversity, and producing critical data   on the ecological characteristics of ciscoes within large   oligotrophic lakes.

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Researchers
Mark EbenerResearcher
Associated with 3 projects
James ReistPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 1 projects
Thomas PrattResearcher
Associated with 2 projects
Michael ArtsResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Michael ArtsResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Nick MandrakResearcher
Associated with 3 projects
Hilary MachtansResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Paul VecseiResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Andrew MuirResearcher
Associated with 2 projects
Agencies
Great Lakes Fishery Commission $ 134,193.00CADEstimates

Funding 54 projects for a total of $5,089,137.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Community
Ecosystem
Impact of Pollutants
Exotic Species
Processes
Natural Ecological Processes
Resource Management
Fisheries
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Surveillance and Monitoring
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
General
Annex
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Research & Development
    Surveillance and Monitoring
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats

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Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.