Evidence that copepod biomass during the larval period regulates recruitment of Lake Erie walleye

Journal of Great Lakes Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

Walleye (Sander vitreus) is an economically and culturally important species in Lake Erie that has experienced large interannual variability in recruitment. We examined the importance of prey biomass during the larval period to walleye recruitment while also considering the importance of temperature. Using nine years of field data over a 22-year period (1994–2016) for larval walleye and zooplankton, we found that strong recruitment events occurred in years when the biomass (dry µg L-1) of copepods (e.g., calanoids, cyclopoids) was greater during the spring larval period. Conversely, the biomass of cladocerans and mean spring water temperatures were poor predictors of walleye recruitment. Our results highlight the need to consider zooplankton availability during the larval period when seeking to understand the recruitment dynamics of freshwater fish populations such as Lake Erie walleye.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evidence that copepod biomass during the larval period regulates recruitment of Lake Erie walleye
Series title Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2021.09.009
Edition Online First
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Country United States
State Michigan, Ohio
Other Geospatial Lake Erie
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