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We explored the importance of experience with feeding on live prey, of cataracts, of strain, and of maternally transferred contaminants for the feeding rate and predator avoidance behavior of young lake trout Salvelinus namaycush. Hatchery-reared and feral juvenile lake trout were tested separately as predators on lake trout fry in tanks with artificial cobble reefs. Feral fish captured more prey per day and more prey per strike than did hatchery lake trout. The predatory performance of hatchery and feral fish did not improve significantly with experience. Feeding rates did not differ between lake trout with unilateral cataracts and normal-eyed fish, but significantly diminished for lake trout with bilateral cataracts....
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Proposals to extend commercial shipping in the St. Marys River (connecting Lakes Superior and Huron) to include winter months have raised concerns regarding its effect on lake herring (Coregonus artedi). Because lake herring spawn in fall and their eggs overwinter in the river and hatch in spring, their hatching success could be impacted by early opening of the locks in spring. Our laboratory studies showed that under the range of turbidities expected in the river due to vessel traffic, lake herring eggs hatched and larvae fed adequately. Field incubation studies produced about 75% survival and 70% hatching success of lake herring eggs at two of three study sites. Collections in the river throughout the month following...
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Historically, the high potentiometric surface of groundwater in the Silurian/Devonian carbonate aquifer in Monroe County, MI resulted in discharge of highly mineralized, SO4-rich groundwater to the Lake Erie shoreline near both Erie State Game Area (ESGA) and Pointe Mouillee State Game Area (PMSGA). Recently, regional groundwater levels near PMSGA have been drawn down as much as 45 m below lake level in apparent response to quarry dewatering. From August to November of 2003, we conducted preliminary studies of groundwater flow dynamics and chemistry, shallow lake water chemistry, and fish and invertebrate communities at both sites. Consistent with regional observations, groundwater flow direction in the nearshore...
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Slimy sculpins (Cottus cognatus) are an important component of the fish community on reefs and adjacent nursery areas of the Great Lakes and overlap spatially with age-0 lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Important interactions between these fishes are possible during the lake trout's first year of life, which could include predation on each other's eggs and larvae, and competition for food resources. We investigated the diets of age-0 lake trout and slimy sculpins on a lake trout spawning reef (Gull Island Shoal) and adjacent nursery area (near Michigan Island) in the Apostle Island region of western Lake Superior during June through September from 1988 through 1991. Organisms in stomachs of 511 lake trout and...
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Key similarities exist between marine and Great Lakes coastal environments. Water and nutrient fluxes across lakebeds in the Great Lakes are influenced by seiche and wind set-up and set-down, analogous to tidal influence in marine settings. Groundwater/surface-water interactions also commonly involve a saline-fresh water interface, although in the Great-Lakes cases, it is groundwater that is commonly saline and surface water that is fresh. Evapotranspiration also affects nearshore hydrology in both settings. Interactions between groundwater and surface water have recently been identified as an important component of ecological processes in the Great Lakes. Water withdrawals and the reversal of the groundwater/surface...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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In laboratory studies, we quantified predation rates and handling time of crayfish (Orconectes virilis) on zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and rainbow trout (Oncorhhynchus mykiss) eggs. In single prey species tests, crayfish ate zebra mussels at similar rates as they ate rainbow trout eggs. When both prey were present, crayfish preferred rainbow trout eggs. Handling time of mussels was about twice that of rainbow trout eggs, and energetic content of mussels was lower. Therefore, net benefit for foraging on rainbow trout eggs was about three times that of foraging on zebra mussels.
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A general model was developed to examine the effects of multiple predators on survival of eggs and fry of lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, associated with spawning reefs. Three kinds of predation were simulated: epibenthic egg predators consuming eggs on the substrate surface during spawning, interstitial egg predators that can move in rocky substrate and consume incubating eggs, and fry predators. Also simulated was the effect of water temperature on predation rates. The model predicted that interstitial predation on eggs accounted for most (76 to 81%) of the predation on early life history stages of lake trout; epibenthic egg predation (12 to 19%) and fry predation (0 to 12%) had less effect on lake trout survival....
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We examine evidence that biotic factors, particularly predation, may be limiting early survival of wild lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) juveniles in many areas of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes contain numerous potential predators of lake trout eggs and fry, some of which are recent invaders, and most of which were probably absent when lake trout most recently re-invaded the Great Lakes after the last ice age. Simple quantitative models of predation suggest that plausible assumptions about prey densities, predator feeding rates, and duration of exposure of predator to prey can lead to very high estimates of predation mortality, in some instances approaching 100%. Indirect evidence from inter-Great Lake comparisons...
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Prey-specific anti-predatory behaviour under different degrees of structural complexity determines foraging success of predators. The behaviour of piscivorous fish (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides and northern pike, Esox lucius) and their prey (bluegills, Lepomis macrochirus, and fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas) were quantified in 60-min experiments in laboratory pools (2 multiplied by 4 m in diameter, 0 multiplied by 5 m deep) with artificial vegetation at densities of 0, 50, 250, and 1000 stems/m2. Largemouth bass switched predatory tactics from searching to ambushing as plant density increased whereas northern pike always used ambushing. At high plant density, both predators captured minnows, but...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Animal Behaviour
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The potential for competition for food between larval lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) and lake herring (C. artedi) 1- to 8-wk of age was explored in a series of 1-h laboratory feeding studies. Feeding started at 2-wk post-hatch. Learning and fish size appear to be more important than prey density at the onset of feeding. Species differed in their feeding behavior and consumption noticeably by 5-wk and substantially by 8-wk. Lake whitefish generally were more aggressive foragers than lake herring, attacking and capturing more prey. At high plankton density at 8-wk, lake herring feeding was depressed in mixed-fish treatments. This difference in competitive food consumption between the two coregonids occurs...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Predation and contaminants are two possible factors in the poor recruitment of young lake charr Salvelinus namaycush in the Great Lakes. We measured the feeding rate of slimy sculpins Cottus cognatus and burbot Lota lota on young lake charr (uncontaminated young from eggs of a hatchery brood stock and contaminated young from eggs of Lake Michigan lake charr) in laboratory test chambers with a cobble substrate. The median daily consumption rate of sculpins for all tests was 2 lake charr eggs (N = 22 tests; 95% confidence interval, O-13) and 2 lake charr free embryos (N = 31 tests; 95% confidence interval, O-10). Feeding rate did not differ between hatchery and contaminated prey. Slimy sculpins continued to feed on...
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Bluegill (Lepomis macrochira) growth varies inconsistently with plant density. In laboratory and field experiments, we explored mechanisms underlying bluegill growth as a function of plant and invertebrate density. In the laboratory, bluegills captured more chironomids (Chironomus riparius) than damselflies (Enallagma spp. and Ischnura spp.), but energy intake per time spent searching did not differ between damselfly and chironomid treatments. From laboratory data, we described prey encounter rates as functions of plant and invertebrate density. In Clark Lake, Ohio, we created 0.05-ha mesocosms of inshore vegetation to generate macrophyte densities of 125, 270, and 385 stems/m2 of Potamogeton and Ceratophyllum and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Oecologia
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Interspecific competition for a food resource (fish eggs) was examined in a laboratory setting between two common benthic organisms of the Great Lakes, the slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus) and crayfish (Orconectes virilis). In monospecific tests, the median egg predation in aquarium microcosms ranged from 2.5 eggs/d for the sculpin to 3.0 eggs/d for the crayfish. In mixed-species tests, sculpin feeding rates were no different than in the monospecific tests. Feeding rates for crayfish, however, were significantly reduced by the presence of sculpin. In mixed-species treatments in which small refuges were included in the aquaria, crayfish predation of eggs was 50% less than in the monospecific tests, i.e., 1.5 eggs/d,...
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The ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus is a European percid that was accidently introduced in Duluth Harbor, Lake Superior. This nonindigenous species is closely related to yellow perch Perca flavescens, and because the two species have similar diets and habitat requirements, they are potential competitors. Laboratory studies in aquaria and pools were conducted to determine whether ruffe can compete with yellow perch for food. Ruffe had capture rates similar to those of yellow perch when food was unlimited. Ruffe spent more time than yellow perch over a feeding container before leaving it and searching again, and they also required less time to ingest (or handle) prey. However, the presence of yellow perch shortened the...
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Of the six classes of chemicals potentially hazardous to Great Lakes aquatic biota, derivatives of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were the most acutely toxic (48-h EC 50) to Daphnia pulex. The other classes, listed in order of decreasing toxicity were alkyl halides, nitrogen-containing compounds, cyclic alkanes, heterocyclic nitrogen compounds, silicon-containing compounds. O f the 41 compounds representing the six chemical classes, 6 were extremely toxic (> 0.01 - 0.1 mg/L), 11 highly toxic (> 01. - 1.0 mg/L), 20 moderately toxic (> 1.0 - 10.0 mg/L), and 4 slightly toxic (>10 - 100 mg/L). The reference compound, p, p'DDT, was super toxic (< 0.01 mg/L). Based on toxicity and relative abundance (hazard ranking)...
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An electrical barrier was chosen as a possible means to deter movement of round goby Neogobius melanostomus. Feasibility studies in a 2.1-m donut-shaped tank determined the electrical parameters necessary to inhibit round goby from crossing the 1-m stretch of the benthic, electrical barrier. Increasing electrical pulse duration and voltage increased effectiveness of the barrier in deterring round goby movement through the barrier. Differences in activity of round goby during daytime and nocturnal tests did not change the effectiveness of the barrier. In field verification studies, an electrical barrier was placed between two blocking nets in the Shiawassee River, Michigan. The barrier consisted of a 6-m wide canvas...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The ruffe, Gymnocephalus cernuus, is a nonindigenous percid in the Great Lakes. Ruffe are aggressive benthivores and forage over soft substrates. Laboratory studies in pools (100 cm in diameter, 15 cm water depth) were conducted to determine whether fish density (low = 2, medium = 4, high = 6 ruffe per pool) changed foraging and aggressive behaviors with a limited food supply of chironomid larvae. All fish densities demonstrated a hierarchy based on aggressive interactions, but ruffe were most aggressive at low and high fish densities. Time spent in foraging was lowest at the low fish density. The best forager at the low fish density was the most aggressive individual, but the second most aggressive fish at the...
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In laboratory studies, we quantified predation rates of crayfish (Orconectes virilis) on the eggs and sac fry of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and a surrogate species, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mvkiss), dispersed among different sized substrates (bare bottom, gravel, cobble, large rocks). Predation was most severe when no rocks were present. Feeding rate then decreased as the substrate changed from large rocks to cobble to gravel. Crayfish predation rate did not change with prey type—rainbow trout and lake trout eggs or sac fry. Crayfish foraging in large tanks containing cobble averaged about two eggs or sac fry per day. In most instances, crayfish would have little impact on lake trout egg survival. Only...
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The ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus, an exotic Eurasian percid, recently became established in the St. Louis River estuary, Lake Superior, after accidental introduction. Management actions (catch regulations and stockings) were enacted in 1989 to increase the density of top-level predators in the estuary, and thus to increase predation on ruffe. We conducted a field and laboratory study to determine if, and to what extent, native piscivores consume ruffe. Stomachs of 3,669 predators were examined in 1989–1991. Ruffe occurred in 6.7% of burbot Lota lota, 5.8% of bullheads Ictalurus spp., 4.7% of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu, 2.6% of northern pike Esox lucius, 2.6% of black crappiesPomoxis nigromaculatus, and...
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Behavior of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, and northern pike, Esox lucius, foraging on fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, or bluegills, Lepomis macrochirus, was quantified in pools with 50% cover (half the pool had artificial stems at a density of 1000 stems m−2). Both predators spent most of their time in the vegetation. Largemouth bass searched for bluegills and ambushed minnows, whereas the relatively immobile northern pike ambushed all prey. Minnows were closer to predators and were captured more frequently than bluegills. Even when minnows dispersed, they moved continually and eventually wandered within striking distance of a predator. Bluegills dispersed in the cover with predators. Bass captured...