Ricky Lee Carter
Bowling Green State University
Enrollment Year: 2001
Atmospheric Mentor: Steven Bertman, Western Michigan University
Biosphere Mentor: Rex Lowe, University of Michigan
Changes in the near-shore littoral of northeastern Lake Michigan
The invasion of the Great Lakes by the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has brought about substantial changes in the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. The littoral benthic community of northeastern Lake Michigan has been radically altered as a result. A dense lawn of Cladophora glomerata now blankets the littoral benthos, where pre-zebra mussel only a biofilm of diatoms existed. Zebra mussels have also cleared the water column, increasing the penetration of UV-B radiation. This study investigates the linkages between these factors to determine the magnitude of those changes and model the energy flow and community dynamics that now exist.
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