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The dreissenid mussel invasion of Lake Michigan during the 1990s has been linked to a concomitant decrease in the abundance of the amphipod Diporeia. We tracked the seasonal energy dynamics of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) in Lake Michigan during 2002-2004 and compared our findings with previously published results for years 1979-1981. Adult alewife energy density exhibited a pronounced seasonal cycle during both the pre-invasion and post-invasion periods, with energy density in October or November nearly twice as high as that in early summer. However, on average, adult alewife energy density was 23% lower during the post-invasion period compared with the pre-invasion period. This significant decline in energy density was attributable to decreased importance of Diporeia in adult alewife diet. In contrast, energy density of juvenile alewives did not significantly differ between the pre-invasion and post-invasion periods. To attain a weight of 8 kg by age 4, bioenergetics modeling indicated that a Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in Lake Michigan would have to consume 22.1% more alewives during the post-invasion period compared with the pre-invasion period.
Additional Publication Details
Changes in seasonal energy dynamics of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) in Lake Michigan after invasion of dreissenid mussels
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences