UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON: The Zebra Mussel Invasion of Lake Mendota


The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System is sponsoring a grant application that proposes to study the ecological impacts of zebra mussels factors on small to medium sized lakes. The study will also determine which factors limit or facilitate zebra mussel population eruptions. The zebra mussel size structure and density will be monitored along transects that span a range of depths to evaluate population trends over time in Lake Mendota. Biweekly sampling will occur to estimate settlement and mortality of juvenile zebra mussels. The monitoring will take place during each year of the grant (2016-2018). Benthic algae, invertebrates and supra-benthic dissolved and total phosphorus will also be monitored at half of the transects. These factors and other limnological variables collected by the North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research program will be compared to zebra mussel data to help understand ecological changes related to zebra mussel establishment. If recruitment of juvenile mussels is found to be limited in 2016 then predator exclusion cages (with different mesh sizes) will be place to assess the type of predator that may be preying on juvenile zebra mussels. The proposed research will happen with oversight of the Department Lakes Technical Team liaison. Biannual check-in meetings will be held and progress reports will be presented to the liaison. The first check-in meeting will take place before the project work begins. Results will be shared at both local public meetings and professional meetings and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The final report will include results, conclusions of studies and any project data in electronic format. It is recommended that the Grantee provide DNR liaison with a draft report prior to requesting final payment.

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