The calanoid copepod Limnocalanus macrurus showed large declines in abundance and a narrowing of spatial distribution with the onset of cultural eutrophication and increases in rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) abundances in Lake Erie in the mid 20th century. Since 1995, however, Limnocalanus macrurus appears to have repopulated in western Lake Erie to levels of abundance that have not been observed since the late 1930s. We hypothesize that phosphorus abatement and the subsequent decrease in low dissolved oxygen events have assisted this resurgence. However, Limnocalanus macrurus abundances have not increased in the central and eastern basins, even though water quality has improved there too. High densities of rainbow smelt and associated smelt predation pressure in the central and eastern basins may be responsible for the low numbers in these basins.
Additional publication details
The status of Limnocalanus macrurus (Copepoda: Calanoida: Centropagidae) in Lake Erie