Effects of invasive mussel grazing on plankton

Description: Grazing by invasive dreissenid mussels can feed upon a range of aquatic organisms throughout the North American Great Lakes and beyond. Previous studies from the Great Lakes shows that dreissenid mussels can effectively graze specific size classes or trophic categories of plankton, leaving a gap in our understanding about their direct effects on intact microbial assemblages (i.e., bacteria, pico-algae, protists). Five mesocosm experiments were performed seasonally in 2018 (May, June, July August, October) to evaluate effects of mussels (presence, absence) on intact plankton assemblages collected from western Lake Erie. These results showed mussel grazing can suppress typical, non-harmful nanoplankton, while favoring the occurrence of less-edible, larger cyanobacteria and chlorophyte taxa.

Target Audience: The seminar will be of directed to those interested in the dynamics of planktonic algae.