The Great Lakes Center hosted a virtual planning meeting on March 25–26th for two Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) benthos cruises that will occur this year. We will travel to Lake Michigan in July and Lake Superior in September. Only one CSMI cruise would occur in a typical year, but COVID-19 restrictions prevented Lake Michigan sampling from happening last year and we are excited to tackle two lakes in 2021! Sampling includes collection of benthic invertebrates, water chemistry, physical variables like lake temperature and oxygen, and video imagery of Dreissena. This year’s sampling will be a valuable addition to long-term benthos monitoring data sets in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. We plan to sample 100 stations on Lake Michigan and 72 stations on Lake Superior.
Meeting participants from the GLC were Allison Hrycik, Sasha Karatayev, Lyuba Burlakova, and Susan Daniel. Our collaborators from Cornell and EPA that will be integral to the sampling attended as well. We also heard proposals from several institutions about additional research projects. Researchers from Wright State University are interested in examining benthic algal assemblages, while Cornell researchers are interested in mapping distributions of benthic zooplankton, including benthic cladocerans and harpacticoid copepods. NOAA researchers are looking into Dreissena length-weight regressions, body conditions, and reproductive status. A project to look at daily migrations of the macroinvertebrate Mysis is underway by researchers at Cornell University and the University of Vermont. Proposed food web studies include fatty acid analysis of the amphipod Diporeia by Krasnoyarsk University and stable isotope analysis of food web components by researchers at the University of Wyoming and NOAA. Together, these projects will give us insight into how the components of the benthic food webs of the Great Lakes fit together. We look forward to new collaborations and to seeing how these projects progress!
Image caption: Allison’s cat, Quincy, is a regular attendee at virtual meetings.
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