Colonization of the Laurentian Great Lakes by the invasive mussel Dreissena polymorpha was a significant ecological disturbance. The invasion reached Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron, in 1991 and initially cleared the waters and lowered algal biomass. However, an unexpected result occurred 3 years after the initial invasion with the return of nuisance summer blooms of cyanobacteria, a problem that had been successfully addressed with the implementation of phosphorus controls in the late 1970s. A multi-class phytoplankton model was developed and tested against field observations and then used to explore the causes of these temporal changes. Model scenarios suggest that changes in the phytoplankton community can be linked to three zebra mussel-mediated effects: (1) removal of particles resulting in clearer water, (2) increased recycle of available phosphorus throughout the summer, and (3) selective rejection of certain Microcystis strains. Light inhibition of certain phytoplankton assemblages and the subsequent alteration of competitive dynamics is a novel result of this model. These results enhance our understanding of the significant role of zebra mussels in altering lower trophic level dynamics of Saginaw Bay and suggest that their physical reengineering of the aquatic environment was the major force driving changes in the phytoplankton community composition.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 35 • No. 4