US Long-Term Ecological Research Network

Population Dynamics of the Invasive Spiny Water Flea

The spiny water flea, an invasive species of the Great Lakes and surrounding inland lakes, was discovered in Lake Mendota in September of 2009.  Since it’s invasion into the Madison lakes, the spiny water flea population has reached some of the highest densities recorded in any of its known invaded or native ranges.  The preferred meal of the spiny water flea is a small aquatic crustacean, Daphnia.  The Daphnia of Lake Mendota are essential in maintaining clear, algae free water through grazing (like miniature lake cattle). Through predation, the spiny water flea may decrease the Lake Mendota Daphnia population abundance, which in turn may allow algae to grow unchecked. My goal is to figure out if this is happening in Lake Mendota while also looking at the broader impact of the spiny water flea on other zooplankton (small aquatic crustaceans like Daphnia) and fish communities.

Invasive Crayfish Trapping

Can an ecosystem dominated by an invasive species be forced into an alternate stable state of low invader abundance? Invasive rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) adversely affect native biota when present at high densities; however, at low densities their effects are minimal.  Lakes with high and low densities of rusty crayfish may represent alternate stable states, meaning that crayfish at low densities could be maintained ...

Crystal Lake Thermal Manipulation to Eradicate Invasive Rainbow Smelt

Rainbow smelt are an invasive fish species that was first detected in the Laurentian Great Lakes in the 1920’s and have since spread to numerous inland lakes. As of 2005, rainbow smelt have invaded 24 inland Wisconsin lakes and have the potential to spread to many more. In Wisconsin’s Northern Highland Lake District, rainbow smelt have been associated with several negative impacts on lake food webs.  For instance, rainbow smelt have been associated with shifts in zooplankton community structure, reductions in yellow perch densities, extirpation of ciscoes, and walleye recruitment failure.

North Temperate Lakes LTER: Crayfish Abundance 1981 - current

Abstract
Crayfish data include crayfish catch in cylindrical minnow traps baited with beef liver and occasional occurrence in other gear used to sample fish. Traps are placed at fyke net locations in nine study lakes (Allequash, Big Muskellunge, Crystal, Sparkling, Trout, Mendota, Monona, Wingra and Fish). Crayfish traps have been eliminated as gear in the Madison area lakes (Mendota, Monona, Wingra, and Fish) after 2003. Individuals are identified to species and counted. In Trout and Sparkling Lake more detailed surveys have been conducted during the summer on an ad hoc basis to track distribution and abundance of the invading species Orconectes rusticus. In Sparkling lake Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) was removed from 2001 to 2008. Catherine L Hein, Brian M Roth, Anthony R Ives, and M Jake Vander Zanden. Fish predation and trapping for rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) control: a whole-lake experiment. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 63(2): 383-393. https://doi.org/10.1139/f05-229. Additional data sets consist of pre-LTER sets (initiated in late June 1972) gathered by Capelli (Ph.D. dissertation) and Lorman (Ph.D. dissertation). Most of pre-LTER data is detailed distribution in Trout Lake, and community composition in other area lakes. Sampling Frequency: annually Number of sites: 9
Note that 2020 data does not exist due to insufficient sampling.
Core Areas
Dataset ID
3
Date Range
-
DOI
doi:10.6073/pasta/9857e393aad5e143165cc38989d92944
Maintenance
ongoing
Metadata Provider
Methods
CRAYFISH AND MINNOW TRAPS There have been introductions of exotic crayfish species in recent years into many north temperate lakes. Monitoring yearly abundances of crayfish species is important in determining the status and extent of the invasions.Crayfish traps are set on all lakes except the bog lakes (Crystal Bog and Trout Bog). Minnow traps are set only on the bog lakes. Prior to 1998, five traps were set at each fyke net site. Starting in 1998, three traps are set per site. Thus, prior to 1998, thirty traps were set on each lake (covering 6 sites.) As of 1998, 18 traps are set on each lake.Minnow traps and crayfish traps are set in shallow water (approx 1 m), 2 traps on one side, and 1 trap on the other side of the fyke net lead. Minnow traps are baited with 1 slice of bread per trap to attract minnows inhabiting the bogs. Crayfish traps are baited with 120 g of liver. Traps are fished for approximately 24 hours . Crayfish are identified to species and returned to the lake, except 2001 - 2008 when in Sparkling lake Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) was removed. Minnows caught in either the crayfish or minnow traps are identified to species, measured for total length.Minnow traps used are galvanized steel two piece traps, 44.5 cm long by 30.5 cm maximum diameter with 2.5 cm diameter openings at the ends. The mesh size is 6.4 mm on a side. Crayfish traps are identical, but the opening hole of both sides of the trap has been forced to 5 to 7 cm.
Publication Date
Short Name
NTLCR01
Version Number
29

North Temperate Lakes LTER: Snail Survey in Northern Wisconsin Lakes 2006

Abstract
The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is a large invasive gastropod that achieves high densities in waters across North America, yet little is known about its ecological significance in invaded systems. We surveyed 44 lakes to describe the patterns and determinants of B. chinensis distributions in northern Wisconsin, U.S.A., and to assess the likelihood of effects on native snail communities in the invaded systems. B. chinensis was widespread among surveyed lakes (21 of 42 lakes with snails) and its occurrence was correlated with indicators of lake productivity and anthropogenic dispersal vectors (boat landings, distance to population centers, shoreline housing density). Some native snail species tended not to occur at sites where B. chinensis was abundant; among these was Lymnaea stagnalis, which suffered reduced survival in the presence of B. chinensis in a recently published mesocosm study. However, there was no difference in overall snail assemblage structure at either the site or lake level as a function of B. chinensis presence or abundance. Lake occurrences of many snail species have apparently been lost over time, but a comparison to a 1930's survey showed that there was no increased likelihood of species loss in lakes invaded by B. chinensis (or by the invasive crayfish Orconectes rusticus). Although B. chinensis is widespread and sometimes abundant in northern Wisconsin lakes, it does not appear to have strong systematic impacts on native snail assemblages. Solomon, C.T., J.D.Olden, P.T. J. Johnson, R.T. Dillon Jr., and M. Jake Vander Zanden. 2010. Distribution and community-level effects of the Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) in northern Wisconsin lakes. Biological Invasions 12:1591–1605. Number of sites: Sites surveyed within 44 lakes. Sampling Frequency: Each lake surveyed once in summer of 2006
Core Areas
Dataset ID
260
Date Range
-
LTER Keywords
Maintenance
completed
Metadata Provider
Methods
During the summer of 2006 we collected snails at 4–6 sites in each of 44 focal lakes. Survey lakes ranged in surface area from 14 to 1,400 ha (median = 130 ha), and were selected to span broad gradients of landscape position, water chemistry, human use, and other characteristics, and to maximize overlap with lakes where Morrison (1932) has previously described snail assemblages. For each lake, site locations were chosen randomly within each compass quadrant of the shoreline, using Geographic Information System (GIS) software (ArcGIS 9.2; ESRI, Redlands, California). At each site we placed a 20 m transect line on the lake bottom along the 1 m depth contour. At 2 m intervals along the transect, two snorkelers collected all the snails from within 0.25 m2 quadrats (10 quadrats per site). They then searched the vicinity of the transect haphazardly for 5 minutes to reduce the likelihood that B. chinensis presence at a site escaped detection. Sampling ceased after the fourth site if at least 25 quadrats with non-zero snail abundances had been sampled; otherwise, sampling continued at alternate sites until that threshold was reached or 6 sites had been sampled. At some sites the entire 20-m transect fell in thick macrophyte beds, precluding effective snorkel surveys. In these cases we sampled snails by vigorously sweeping a D-net (500 lm mesh) through the macrophytes in two 1 m2 areas. Collected snails were preserved in 80% ethanol. Identifications were made according to Burch (1989), following the revision of Hubendick (1951) for the Lymnaeidae, Hubendick (1955) for the Planorbidae, and Wethington and Lydeard (2007) for the Physidae. All samples are being curated into the Illinois Natural History Survey Mollusk Collection.We also tested the effectiveness of a rapid assessment protocol for detecting the presence of B. chinensis. Two observers snorkeled around the vicinity of the boat launch (if present) for up to 5 min each, or until B. chinensis was found. We conducted this rapid assessment at 27 of the focal survey lakes, as well as at 8 additional lakes where we did not conduct full quadrat surveys.
Short Name
CMSNAIL
Version Number
21

Biocomplexity at North Temperate Lakes LTER; Whole Lake Manipulations: Aquatic Macrophytes 2001 - 2010

Abstract
Macrophyte surveys were conducted on Sparkling Lake, Vilas County, Wisconsin in mid-July of the years 2001 to 2004 and 2007 to 2009. Eight sites were chosen that corresponded to trap survey sites for rusty crayfish and represented the range of macrophyte communities in the lake. At each site, we swam a transect perpendicular to shore from 0 to 4 m depths. A tape measure extended from shore to the 4 m depth contour, and buoys were placed at the 1, 2, 3, and 4 m depth contours. Quadrats were placed along each transect at 1 m intervals. We visually estimated the percent cover of each macrophyte species within a 0.24 meter squared quadrat. Transect: corresponds to trap survey site number. Quadrat: occur at 1 m intervals starting from shore (0) and going until you reach the 4 m depth contour (highest number). Substrate: substrate within the quadrat categorized as muck, sand, gravel, cobble, logs, leaves, or any combination of these. Abundance: percent cover of each species within the quadrat determined by visual estimation. The percent covers of all species within a quadrat do NOT necessarily add to 100. Depth Interval: depth interval that each quadrat was in. Quadrats between 0 and 1 m deep are in depth interval 1, those between 1 and 2 m deep are in depth interval 2, etc. Number of sites: 8 Sampling Frequency: annually during summer
Core Areas
Dataset ID
216
Date Range
-
Maintenance
completed
Metadata Provider
Methods
Macrophyte surveys were conducted on Sparkling Lake, Vilas County, Wisconsin in mid-July of the years 2001 to 2009. Eight sites were chosen that corresponded to trap survey sites for rusty crayfish and represented the range of macrophyte communities in the lake. These sites corresponded to trap survey sites 1, 4, 10, 16, 20, 23, 27, and 35. At each site, we swam a transect perpendicular to shore from 0 to 4 m depths. A tape measure extended from shore to the 4 m depth contour, and buoys were placed at the 1, 2, 3, and 4 m depth contours. We visually estimated the percent cover of each macrophyte species within a 0.24 meter squared quadrat. Quadrats were placed along each transect at 1 m intervals. Thus, we used fewer quadrats on transects with a steeper slope. At site 23, we only found a macrophyte on one event: Vallisneria sp. in 2004.Transect: corresponds to trap survey site number.Quadrat: occur at 1 m intervals starting from shore (0) and going until you reach the 4 m depth contour (highest number).Substrate: substrate within the quadrat categorized as muck, sand, gravel, cobble, logs, leaves, or any combination of these.Abundance: percent cover of each species within the quadrat determined by visual estimation. The percent covers of all species within a quadrat do NOT necessarily add to 100.Depth Interval: depth interval that each quadrat was in. Quadrats between 0 and 1 m deep are in depth interval 1, those between 1 and 2 m deep are in depth interval 2, etc.
Short Name
BIOSPMAC1
Version Number
8
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