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Potential impact of Chironomus plumosus larvae on hypolimnetic oxygen in the central basin of Lake Erie

Journal of Great Lakes Research

Soster (senior author; DePauw Univ), Matisoff (Case Western Univ), Edwards (Univ Niagara)
By:
, , , and
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2015.02.008

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Abstract

Previous studies have indicated that burrow-irrigating infauna can increase sediment oxygen demand (SOD) and impact hypolimnetic oxygen in stratified lakes. We conducted laboratory microcosm experiments and computer simulations with larvae of the burrowing benthic midge Chironomus plumosus to quantify burrow oxygen uptake rates and subsequent contribution to sediment oxygen demand in central Lake Erie. Burrow oxygen uptake and water flow velocities through burrows were measured using oxygen microelectrodes and hot film anemometry, respectively. Burrow oxygen consumption averaged 2.66 × 10− 10 (SE = ± 7.82 × 10− 11) mol O2/burrow/s at 24 °C and 9.64 × 10− 10 (SE = ± 4.86 × 10− 10) mol O2/burrow/s at 15 °C. In sealed microcosm experiments, larvae increased SOD 500% at 24 °C (density = 1508/m2) and 375% at 15 °C (density = 864/m2). To further evaluate effects of densities of C. plumosus burrows on SOD we developed a 3-D transport reaction model of the process. Using experimental data and chironomid abundance data in faunal surveys in 2009 and 2010, we estimated that bioirrigation by a population of 140 larvae/m2 could account for between 2.54 × 10− 11 mol/L/s (model results) and 5.58 × 10− 11 mol/L/s (experimental results) of the average 4.22 × 10− 11 mol/L/s oxygen depletion rate between 1970 and 2003, which could have accounted for 60–132% of the oxygen decline. At present, it appears that the population density of this species may be an important factor in development of hypoxic or anoxic conditions in central Lake Erie.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Potential impact of Chironomus plumosus larvae on hypolimnetic oxygen in the central basin of Lake Erie
Series title:
Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI:
10.1016/j.jglr.2015.02.008
Volume:
41
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2015
Language:
English
Publisher:
International Association for Great Lakes Research
Publisher location:
Toronto
Contributing office(s):
Great Lakes Science Center
Description:
10 p.
First page:
348
Last page:
357
Country:
United States
State:
Ohio
Other Geospatial:
Lake Erie
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N