Evaluation of optically acquired zooplankton size-spectrum data as a potential tool for assessment of condition in the great lakes

Peder Yurista, John R. Kelly, Samuel Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

An optical plankton counter (OPC) potentially provides an assessment tool for zooplankton condition in ecosystems that is rapid, economical, and spatially extensive. We collected zooplankton data with an OPC in 20 near-shore regions of 4 of the Laurentian Great Lakes. The zooplankton size information was used to compute mean size, biomass density, and size-spectra parameters for each location. The resulting metrics were analyzed for their ability to discriminate among the Great Lakes. Biomass density provided discrimination among lakes, as did several parameters describing spectra shape and distribution. A proposed zooplankton indicator, mean size (determined with OPC measurements in this study), was found to provide discrimination among lakes. Size-spectra-related parameters added increased ability to discriminate in conjunction with the biomass density (or mean size) metric. A discriminant function analysis of the multiple metrics (mean size, biomass density, and distribution parameters) suggests that a multi metric size-based approach might be used to classify communities among lakes improving a mean-size metric. The feasibility OPCs and size-based metrics for zooplankton assessment was found to have potential for further development as assessment tools for the biological condition of zooplankton communities in the Great Lakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-44
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental management
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Great Lakes
  • OPC
  • Optical plankton counter
  • Size spectrum
  • Zooplankton

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