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PELAGIC AND BENTHIC FOOD WEB SHIFTS AFFECT AVAILABILITY OF POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS TO LAKE TROUT, IMPLICATIONS FOR EARLY LIFE STAGES SURVIVAL

Availability of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the food web  is trophic level dependent as different organisms utilize distinctly  different food resources in the food web. Such differences may also  occur among individuals of one species. Alewife and round goby have  greatly affected the food web of Lake Michigan since their  introduction and currently they provide forage for lake trout. Lake  trout utilizes its prey in a size dependent manner, with larger  individuals feeding on larger alewives. In southern Lake Michigan  round gobies became important lake trout forage. Gobies feeding  mainly on zebra mussel may markedly affect lake trout PUFA intake.  Different size classes of alewives forage preferentially either on  zooplankton (small alewives) or diporeia/mysis (larger alewives). As  a consequence, lake trout foraging driven by prey size and density  may provide different levels of PUFA to reproductively active  females. Preliminary data (29 families from southwestern Lake  Michigan) indicate that certain PUFA in the eggs correlate with  survival of lake trout embryos and in concert with thiamine levels,  explain up to 6 % of lake trout embryonic and early life stages  mortality. The goal of this project is to evaluate the transfer of fatty acids  through the Lake Michigan food web with particular emphasis on  zooplankton-macroinvertebrates-alewife-zebra mussel-round goby-lake  trout links and ultimately determine how particular PUFA affect lake  trout reproductive success. More specifically, we will (1) determine  the PUFA content of several size classes of alewives, round gobies,  their prey, and lake trout eggs, (2) determine the viability of lake  trout eggs and embryos, (3) establish a relationship among PUFA  concentrations, thiamine levels, and survival of lake trout  offspring.

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Community
Organism
Impact of Pollutants
Exotic Species
Processes
Natural Ecological Processes
Resource Management
Fisheries
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Michigan
State Province
Illinois
Indiana
Quebec
Wisconsin
Biology And Life History
Life History
Control And Mitigation
Biological Interactions (Predator/Prey)
Ecosystem Effects
Food Web Structure
Socio-economic Consideration and Analysis
Resource Management Issues
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
General
Aquatic Nuisance Species
Annex
  • 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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Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.