Ecological complexity may improve ecosystem function, stability and adaptability to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Intraspecific trophic variation can represent a significant component of total community variation and can influence food web structure and function. Thus, understanding how trophic niches are partitioned between intraspecific and interspecific processes could improve our understanding of food web dynamics.
We examined gut contents, fatty acids and stable isotope ratios in round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) across six sites in Lake Michigan, USA, to determine patterns in intra‐ and interspecific trophic composition (i.e., mean gut or fatty acid composition) and diversity (i.e., the diversity of gut items or fatty acids). We also examined relationships between fatty acid diversity and gut content characteristics to understand potential mechanisms shaping individual trophic phenotypes. There was significant variation in both trophic composition and diversity among sites, and individual and spatial variation was as important to total trophic variation as species identity. Round goby that consumed dreissenid mussels had more diverse fatty acid profiles than those that consumed other benthic invertebrates, whereas yellow perch fatty acid diversity was not related to gut content composition. Our results confirm that intraspecific variation in resource use can be as important to trophic dynamics as interspecific variation, and that spatial variation in lower level food web processes or habitat may strongly structure local food web dynamics. Individual‐level examination of trophic diversity, in concert with trophic composition, could provide additional information about the resilience, function and adaptability of local food webs.
Document available through publisher’s website: 10.1111/eff.12472
Land use planners in the Great Lakes region make recommendations that can affect the quality and quantity of ground and surface water resources. Challenges include a lack of up-to-date data, and insufficient political and financial support. In this publication, university researchers in the Great Lakes region show how collaboration led to development and maintenance of an online decision support system.
Document is available from the Purdue Extension Education Store at, https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=FNR-601-W.
A rain garden is a green infrastructure project that can improve the quality of stormwater, minimize pollution, and enhance biodiversity and pollinator habitat. Purdue, Iowa State and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant researchers explain how to site, size, design, install and maintain a rain garden, and provide advice on plant selection, too. Document is available for download in the Purdue Extension Ed-Store.
Invasive crayfish pose a substantial threat to aquatic habitats in the Great Lakes Region because of their ability to reduce habitat quality and dramatically alter aquatic food webs. Currently, efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive crayfish consist largely of reducing the size of existing populations and encouraging people to refrain from releasing crayfish into new bodies of water. The ICC focuses on improving upon our collective management and outreach capabilities.
For more detailed information, visit Invasive Crayfish Collaborative
File Type: pdf
File Size: 3.11 MB
This four-page fact-sheet is a primer on how pharmaceuticals and personal care products enter the environment and what consumers can do to properly dispose of them. This fact sheet was developed by New York Sea Grant.
File Type: pdf
File Size: 14.00 MB
A curriculum for integrating real-time buoy data as a teaching tool about Lake Michigan conditions and current issues.
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