Shell-free biomass and population dynamics of dreissenids in offshore Lake Michigan, 2001-2003

Journal of Great Lakes Research
By: , and 



The USGS-Great Lakes Science Center has collected dreissenid mussels annually from Lake Michigan since zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) became a significant portion of the bottom-trawl catch in 1999. For this study, we investigated dreissenid distribution, body mass, and recruitment at different depths in Lake Michigan during 2001-2003. The highest densities of dreissenid biomass were observed from depths of 27 to 46 m. The biomass of quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis) increased exponentially during 2001-2003, while that of zebra mussels did not change significantly. Body mass (standardized for a given shell length) of both species was lowest from depths of 27 to 37m, highest from 55 to 64 m, and declined linearly at deeper depths during 2001-2003. Recruitment in 2003, as characterized by the proportion of mussels < 11 mm in the catch, varied with depth and lake region. For quagga mussels, recruitment declined linearly with depth, and was highest in northern Lake Michigan. For zebra mussels, recruitment generally declined non-linearly with depth, although the pattern was different for north, mid, and southern Lake Michigan. Our analyses suggest that quagga mussels could overtake zebra mussels and become the most abundant mollusk in terms of biomass in Lake Michigan.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Shell-free biomass and population dynamics of dreissenids in offshore Lake Michigan, 2001-2003
Series title Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI 10.3394/0380-1330(2007)33[536:SBAPDO]2.0.CO;2
Volume 33
Issue 3
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher International Association of Great Lakes Research
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 536
Last page 545
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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