Project

This project addressed regional climate change effects on aquatic food webs in the Great Lakes. Project scientists examined Lake Erie as a representative system with a high level of human impact, varying levels of food availability, seasonal hypoxia (low oxygen levels), and spatial overlap of cold- and cool-water fish guilds. In Lake Erie and in large embayments throughout the Great Lakes basin, this situation is a concern for fishery managers, as climate change may worsen oxygen levels and reduce habitat for some species. Researchers examined fish community composition, fine-scale distribution, food availability, diets, and other senses for dominant fishes from study areas with medium-high nutrient levels (Fairport study area), and low nutrient levels (Erie study area). This multi-year database (2011-2013) provides the ability to contrast years with wide variation in rainfall, winter ice-cover, and thermal stratification

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