Walleye growth declines following zebra mussel and Bythotrephes invasion

Gretchen J.A. Hansen, Tyler D. Ahrenstorff, Bethany J. Bethke, Joshua D. Dumke, Jodie Hirsch, Katya E. Kovalenko, Jaime F. LeDuc, Ryan P. Maki, Heidi M. Rantala, Tyler Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Invasive species represent a threat to aquatic ecosystems globally; however, impacts can be heterogenous across systems. Documented impacts of invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and spiny water fleas (Bythotrephes cederströmii; hereafter Bythotrephes) on native fishes are variable and context dependent across locations and time periods. Here, we use a hierarchical Bayesian analysis of a 35-year dataset on two fish species from 9 lakes to demonstrate that early life growth of ecologically important fishes are influenced by these aquatic invasive species. Walleye (Sander vitreus) in their first year of life grew more slowly in the presence of either invader after correcting for temperature (measured by degree days), and were on average 12 or 14% smaller at the end of their first summer following invasion by Bythotrephes or zebra mussels, respectively. Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) growth was less affected by invasion. Yellow perch on average grew more slowly in their first year of life following invasion by zebra mussels, although this effect was not statistically distinguishable from zero. Early life growth of both walleye and yellow perch was less tightly coupled to degree days in invaded systems, as demonstrated by increased variance surrounding the degree day-length relationship. Smaller first-year size is related to walleye survival and recruitment to later life stages and has important implications for lake food webs and fisheries management. Future research quantifying effects of zebra mussels and Bythotrephes on other population-level processes and across a wider gradient of lake types is needed to understand the mechanisms driving observed changes in walleye growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1481-1495
Number of pages15
JournalBiological Invasions
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are extremely grateful to the countless Minnesota DNR staff who collected and compiled the data for this analysis. Special thanks to Gerry Albert, Matt Hennen, Eric Jensen, Tony Kennedy, Brett Nelson, Carl Pedersen, Doug Schultz, Phil Talmage, and Ben Vondra for their support and assistance with this project. We are grateful to project team members Valerie Brady, Will French, and Holly Kelly for their valuable contributions to this project. Thanks also to Charles Anderson and two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved the quality of this manuscript. Funding was provided by the Minnesota Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Use of trade names is for identification purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

Funding Information:
We are extremely grateful to the countless Minnesota DNR staff who collected and compiled the data for this analysis. Special thanks to Gerry Albert, Matt Hennen, Eric Jensen, Tony Kennedy, Brett Nelson, Carl Pedersen, Doug Schultz, Phil Talmage, and Ben Vondra for their support and assistance with this project.?We are grateful to project team members?Valerie Brady, Will French, and Holly Kelly for their valuable contributions to this project.?Thanks also to Charles Anderson and two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved the quality of this manuscript. Funding was provided by the Minnesota Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Use of trade names is for identification purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Fisheries
  • Food web
  • Growth
  • Historical data
  • Impacts
  • Indirect effects
  • Lake
  • Spiny water flea
  • Walleye
  • Yellow perch
  • Zebra mussel

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