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Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Lesson Plan: Presentation

Education / Curriculum Publication

Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Lesson Plan: Ballast Water Presentation

Education / Curriculum Publication

Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Lesson Plan


In this Great Lakes Invaders Investigation students will learn the difference between native, non-native, and invasive species. Students will learn about invasive species introduced to the Great Lakes, how they were introduced, why these species are a problem, and various management practices that can be used to prevent further spread or introduction of aquatic invasive species.

After completing this investigation, students in grades 5-8 will be able to:

  • Differentiate between native, non-native, and invasive species.
  • Identify Great Lakes aquatic invasive species and state why they are a problem.
  • Suggest management recommendations based on species characteristics.

LENGTH: 30 pages
Education / Curriculum Publication

Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz


Ohio Sea Grant and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are participating in a binational multi-agency effort aimed at raising public awareness and promoting actions to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic invasive species (AIS). This webinar provided information on aquatic invasive species and prevention efforts in the Great Lakes.

DURATION: 50 mins
Broadcast, Podcast, Webinar

Be a Responsible Grass Carp Owner


Grass carp, also called white amur, are stocked in ponds to control aquatic vegetation without the use of herbicides.

The very reason that you want grass carp in your pond makes them harmful to wild habitats: They remove large amounts of aquatic vegetation which our native fish, waterfowl and other creatures need to survive.

Never release unwanted grass carp into natural waterbodies.

LENGTH: 1 page
Fact Sheet

Stone Lab Guest Lecture: ODNR Division of Wildlife


Research Brief
Invasive Species Management and Research: Are we working at the same scales?
Dr. Jonathan Bossenbroek, Professor of Ecology, The University of Toledo

Guest Lecture
Fish Management in the 21st Century
Rich Carter, Executive Administrator, Fish Management Group, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife

DURATION: ~ 1 hr, 46 mins
Broadcast, Podcast, Webinar

Ohio Field Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species


An invasion is happening in Ohio, and it’s in the water we drink! Learn how you can do your part to protect the waters of Ohio with this 160-page field guide featuring some of the invaders most dangerous to Ohio Waters, with descriptions for each and strategies to avoid spreading them.

LENGTH: 163 pages
Guide Series

Asian Carp PowerPoint Presentation


This powerpoint provides detailed information on the 4 species of invasive Asian carp (grass carp, black carp, bighead carp, silver carp) and the dangers they pose to local ecosystems.

LENGTH: 50 pages
External Partner Publication

Leptodora kindtii Population Dynamics in the Island Region of Western Lake Erie Before and After the Invasion of the Predacious Cladoceran Bythotrephes Longimanus


Competition among native and non-native species can cause decreases in population size and production of both species. The native predaceous crustacean zooplankter Leptodora kindtii shares a similar niche with the invasive Bythotrephes longimanus in Lake Erie. This niche overlap may contribute to the decline in abundance, and production of L. kindtii in the Western Basin of Lake Erie. Historical (1946) and recent (2006) data were used to determine if the decline in L. kindtii abundance and production was associated with the effects of B. longimanus, which invaded Lake Erie in the mid-1980’s. Pre-invasion abundances and lengths of L. kindtii were compared with current data (2006). A change in prey community abundance, composition and dynamics were observed, relative to pre-invasion, with a marked decline in abundance and size of L. kindtii after the invasion of B. longimanus. Competition for food and direct predation are two explanations, among others, for the declines observed in L. kindtii size, abundance and production that have occurred since B. longimanus invasion.

VOLUME: 116 ISSUE: 2 LENGTH: 7 pages

Feeding Ecology of the Invasive Round Goby, Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814), Based on Laboratory Size Preference and Field Diet in Different Habitats in the Western Basin of Lake Erie


The round goby, Neogobius melanostomus, is an invasive benthic fish species in the Laurentian Great Lakes that is threatening native fish populations through competition, predation, and trophic dynamic change. This study examined the trophic dynamic plasticity of round goby along a depth gradient based on laboratory and field observations to determine prey species consumed and mussel prey size selection. Prey size selection in the laboratory was assessed by presenting individual round goby with quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) of various class sizes (i.e., 6.0–9.9 mm, 10.0–12.9 mm, 13.0–15.9 mm, and 16.0–18.9 mm in length). Round goby exhibited a selection preference for small sized quagga mussels, although in individual trial events, mussels were consumed from all four size classes. Prey species consumed from shallow and deep sites in the western basin of Lake Erie were assessed using individual gut contents to calculate measures of prey importance, diversity, and dominance. Based on the Index of Relative Importance (IRI), Cladocera was found to be the most consumed prey item for both males and females and between study sites. Both sexes consumed a variety of prey items although females exhibited greater prey dominance or reliance on one prey item. Round goby individuals at the shallow, natural shoreline site had the highest trophic diversity, while individuals at the deep site exhibited the highest prey dominance. Diet of round goby in the western basin of Lake Erie are mainly dominated by just a few prey items.

DOI: VOLUME: 10 ISSUE: 4 LENGTH: 11 pages

12 July 2012 Stone Laboratory Guest Lecture Series: USGS Science- Partner Driven Research: Huron Erie Corridor, Asian Carps and Harmful Algal Blooms

Broadcast, Podcast, Webinar

Expansion of Tubenose Gobies Proterorhinus semilunaris into Western Lake Erie and Potential Effects on Native Species


The Eurasian freshwater tubenose goby Proterorhinus semilunaris (formerly Proterorhinus marmoratus) invaded the Laurentian Great Lakes in the 1990s, presumably via ballast water from transoceanic cargo ships. Tubenose gobies spread throughout Lake St. Clair, its tributaries, and the Detroit River system, and also are present in the Duluth-Superior harbor of Lake Superior. Using seines and bottom trawls, we collected 113 tubenose gobies between July 2007 and August 2009 at several locations in western Lake Erie. The number and range of sizes of specimens collected suggest that that tubenose gobies have become established and self-sustaining in the western basin of Lake Erie. Tubenose gobies reached maximum densities in sheltered areas with abundant macrophyte growth, which also is their common habitat in native northern Black Sea populations. The diet of tubenose gobies was almost exclusively invertebrates, suggesting dietary overlap with other benthic fishes, such as darters (Etheostoma spp. and Percina sp.), madtoms (Noturus spp.), and sculpins (Cottus spp.). A single mitochondrial DNA haplotype was identified, which is the most common haplotype found in the original colonization area in the Lake St. Clair region, suggesting a founder effect. Tubenose gobies, like round gobies Neogobius melanostomus, have early life stages that drift owing to vertical migration, which probably allowed them to spread from areas of colonization. The Lake St. Clair-Lake Erie corridor appears to have served as an avenue for them to spread to the western basin of Lake Erie, and abundance of shallow macrophyte-rich habitats may be a key factor facilitating their further expansion within Lake Erie and the remainder of the Laurentian Great Lakes.

DOI: 10.1007/s10530-011-9962-5 VOLUME: 13 ISSUE: 12 LENGTH: 9 pages

The Effects of Dreissenid Mussels on the Survival and Condition of Burrowing Mayflies (Hexagenia spp.) in Western Lake Erie


Burrowing mayflies (Hexagenia limbata and H. rigida) are once again prominent members of the benthic community in western Lake Erie. However, this community is now dominated by dreissenid mussels. We conducted a laboratory experiment and field sampling to investigate whether survival and condition of Hexagenia were affected by the presence, density, and quality of dreissenid mussels. In a laboratory experiment, Hexagenia survival was higher in microcosms without dreissenid mussels. We also found Hexagenia density to be higher at field sites with low dreissenid density, suggesting that Hexagenia survival is higher in these areas as well. In microcosm treatments with low dreissenid density, Hexagenia survival was higher in treatments with live dreissenids than in treatments containing only dreissenid shells. These findings suggest that while dreissenid shells degrade the quality of soft sediments for Hexagenia, some of the negative effect is offset by the presence of live dreissenids. The positive effect of live dreissenids is likely due to additional food resources made available to Hexagenia by the filtering activity of dreissenids. Neither dreissenid density nor shell “type” (shells alone or live dreissenids in shells) had an effect on Hexagenia condition. Thus, the interactions between these dominant benthic invertebrates are complex. Recovery of Hexagenia populations in western Lake Erie is likely affected by both changing environmental conditions due to anthropogenic activities and the introduction of exotic species into the benthic community. The results are likely to be continued instability of the benthic food web and unpredictable consequences for human utilization of this ecosystem.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2011.04.006 VOLUME: 37 ISSUE: 3 LENGTH: 5 pages

Transient Social–Ecological Stability: the Effects of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Restoration on Nutrient Management Compromise in Lake Erie


Together, lake ecosystems and local human activity form complex social–ecological systems (SESs) characterized by feedback loops and discontinuous change. Researchers in diverse fields have suggested that complex systems do not have single stable equilibria in the long term because of inevitable perturbation. During this study, we sought to address the general question of whether or not stable social–ecological equilibria exist in highly stressed and managed lacustrine systems. Using an integrated human–biophysical model, we investigated the impacts of a species invasion and ecosystem restoration on SES equilibrium, defined here as a compromise in phosphorus management among opposing stakeholders, in western Lake Erie. Our integrated model is composed of a calibrated ecological submodel representing Sandusky Bay, and a phosphorus management submodel that reflects the societal benefits and costs of phosphorus regulation. These two submodels together form a dynamic feedback loop that includes freshwater ecology, ecosystem services, and phosphorus management. We found that the invasion of dreissenid mussels decreased ecosystem resistance to eutrophication, necessitating increased phosphorus management to preserve ecosystem services and thus creating the potential for a shift in social–ecological equilibrium. Additionally, our results suggest that net benefits in the region following the invasion of dreissenids may never again reach the pre-invasion level if on-site phosphorus control is the sole management lever. Further demonstrating transient system stability, large-scale wetland restoration shifted points of management compromise to states characterized by less on-site phosphorus management and higher environmental quality, resulting in a significant increase in net benefits in the region. We conclude that lacustrine SESs are open and dynamic, and we recommend that future models of these systems emphasize site-specific perturbation over equilibrium, thereby aiding the development of management plans for building system resistance to undesirable change that are both flexible and sustainable in an unknowable future.

VOLUME: 15 ISSUE: 1 LENGTH: 28 pages
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