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Creators/Authors contains: "Vander Zanden, M. Jake"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 27, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Lakeshore riparian habitats have undergone intensive residential development in many parts of the world. Lakeshore residential development (LRD) is associated with aquatic habitat loss/alteration, including altered macrophyte communities and reduced coarse woody habitat. Yet habitat‐mediated and other generalized effects of LRD on lake biotic communities are not well understood. We used two approaches to examine the relationships among LRD, habitat, and fish community in a set of 57 northern Wisconsin lakes. First, we examined how LRD affected aquatic habitat using mixed linear effects models. Second, we evaluated how LRD affected fish abundance and community structure at both whole‐lake and site‐level spatial scales using generalized linear mixed‐effects models. We found that LRD did not have a significant relationship with the total abundance (all species combined) of fish at either scale. However, there were significant species‐specific responses to LRD at the whole‐lake scale. Species abundances varied across the LRD gradient, with bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and mimic shiners (Notropis volucellus) responding positively along the gradient and walleye (Sander vitreus) having the most negative response. We also quantified site‐level habitat associations for each fish species. We found that habitat associations did not inform a species' overall response to LRD, as illustrated by species with similar responses to LRD having vastly different habitat associations. Finally, even with the inclusion of littoral habitat information in models, LRD still had significant effects on species abundances, reflecting a role of LRD in shaping littoral fish communities independent of our measure of littoral habitat alteration. Our results indicated that LRD altered littoral fish communities at the whole‐lake scale through both habitat and non‐habitat‐mediated drivers.

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  3. Invasive species impart abrupt changes on ecosystems, but their impacts on microbial communities are often overlooked. We paired a 20 y freshwater microbial community time series with zooplankton and phytoplankton counts, rich environmental data, and a 6 y cyanotoxin time series. We observed strong microbial phenological patterns that were disrupted by the invasions of spiny water flea ( Bythotrephes cederströmii ) and zebra mussels ( Dreissena polymorpha ). First, we detected shifts in Cyanobacteria phenology. After the spiny water flea invasion, Cyanobacteria dominance crept earlier into clearwater; and after the zebra mussel invasion, Cyanobacteria abundance crept even earlier into the diatom-dominated spring. During summer, the spiny water flea invasion sparked a cascade of shifting diversity where zooplankton diversity decreased and Cyanobacteria diversity increased. Second, we detected shifts in cyanotoxin phenology. After the zebra mussel invasion, microcystin increased in early summer and the duration of toxin production increased by over a month. Third, we observed shifts in heterotrophic bacteria phenology. The Bacteroidota phylum and members of the acI Nanopelagicales lineage were differentially more abundant. The proportion of the bacterial community that changed differed by season; spring and clearwater communities changed most following the spiny water flea invasion that lessened clearwater intensity, while summer communities changed least following the zebra mussel invasion despite the shifts in Cyanobacteria diversity and toxicity. A modeling framework identified the invasions as primary drivers of the observed phenological changes. These long-term invasion-mediated shifts in microbial phenology demonstrate the interconnectedness of microbes with the broader food web and their susceptibility to long-term environmental change. 
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  4. Abstract

    Predator–prey coupling can result in oscillations of predator–prey densities. These oscillations in predator–prey densities correspond to oscillations in intraspecific competition where a high population density causes high intraspecific competition. Strong coupling of native species can however be disrupted by the introduction of invasive species into food webs. Here, we investigated how the body condition (body mass relative to body length) of a predator, lake trout, and its primary prey, cisco, changed as their respective population densities shifted. We found that the body condition of lake trout and cisco was strongly influenced by their respective population densities, that is, density dependence. The body conditions of lake trout and cisco were also inversely related, which highlights strong predator–prey coupling. Further, we were able to detect the impacts of a recent invasive species,Bythotrephes, as we saw size‐specific shifts in the body condition of prey following the invasion. Overall, this study highlights how the long‐term study of a simple measure, body condition, can reveal predator–prey coupling and yield new insights into the impacts of an invasive species.

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  5. This repository includes the setup and output from the analysis ran on Lake Mendota to explore the trophic cascade caused by invasion of spiny water flea in 2010. Scripts to run the model are located under /src, and the processed results for the discussion of the paper are located under /data_processed.

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  6. Abstract

    Species invasions can disrupt aquatic ecosystems by re‐wiring food webs. A trophic cascade triggered by the invasion of the predatory zooplankter spiny water flea (Bythotrephes cederströmii) resulted in increased phytoplankton due to decreased zooplankton grazing. Here, we show that increased phytoplankton biomass led to an increase in lake anoxia. The temporal and spatial extent of anoxia experienced a step change increase coincident with the invasion, and anoxic factor increased by 11 d. Post‐invasion, anoxia established more quickly following spring stratification, driven by an increase in phytoplankton biomass. A shift in spring phytoplankton phenology encompassed both abundance and community composition. Diatoms (Bacillaryophyta) drove the increase in spring phytoplankton biomass, but not all phytoplankton community members increased, shifting the community composition. We infer that increased phytoplankton biomass increased labile organic matter and drove hypolimnetic oxygen consumption. These results demonstrate how a species invasion can shift lake phenology and biogeochemistry.

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  7. Abstract

    Estimating the abundance of organisms is fundamental to the study and management of ecological systems. However, accurately and precisely estimating organism abundance is challenging, especially in aquatic systems where organisms are hidden underwater. Estimating the abundance of fish is critical for the management of fisheries which relies on accurate assessment of population status to maximize yield without overharvesting populations. Monitoring population status is particularly challenging for inland fisheries in which populations are distributed among many individual waterbodies. Environmental DNA (eDNA) may offer a cost‐effective way to rapidly estimate populations across a large number of systems if eDNA quantity correlates with the abundance of its source organisms. Here, we test the ability of quantities of eDNA recovered from surface water to estimate the abundance of walleye (Sander vitreus), a culturally and economically important sportfish, in lakes in northern Wisconsin (USA). We demonstrate a significant, positive relationship between traditional estimates of adult walleye populations (both number of individuals and biomass) and eDNA concentration (R2 = .81;n = 22). Our results highlight the utility of eDNA as a population monitoring tool that can help guide and inform inland fisheries management.

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