J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (11): 1452-1466.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2008.00755.x

Special Issue: Ecology and Global Changes

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Increased Benthic Algal Primary Production in Response to the Invasive Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in a Productive Ecosystem, Oneida Lake, NY

Rebecca K. Cecala, Christine M. Mayer, Kimberly L. Schulz and Edward L. Mills   

  • Received:2008-05-01 Accepted:2008-07-02 Published:2008-11-11

Abstract: Increased water clarity associated with zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) populations may favor benthic algal primary production in freshwater systems previously dominated by pelagic phytoplankton production. While zebra mussel-mediated water clarity effects on benthic primary production have been implicated in the literature, few production estimates are available. This study estimates benthic primary production in Oneida Lake, NY before and after zebra mussel invasion (1992), using measured photosynthetic parameters (PBmax, B and ) from sampled benthic algal communities. In the summers of 2003 and 2004, primary production was measured as O2 evolution from algal communities on hard (cobble) and soft (sediment) substrate from several depths. We also backcast estimates of benthic primary production from measurements of light penetration since 1975. Estimates of whole-lake epipelic and epilithic algal primary production showed a significant (4%) increase and exhibited significantly less interannual variability subsequent to the establishment of zebra mussels. We applied our model to two lakes of differing trophic status; the model significantly overestimated benthic primary production in a hypereutrophic lake, but there was no significant difference between the actual and predicted primary production values in the oligotrophic lake. The hypereutrophic lake had higher zebra mussel densities than Oneida (224 vs. 41 per sample respectively). Though total community respiration (measured in total darkness) was a factored into our model predictions of production, our model may need modification when heterotrophic respiration is a large portion of total community metabolism.

Key words: periphyton, primary production, ecosystem engineering, nonindigenous species, Dreissena, Oneida Lake

Editorial Office, Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, Institute of Botany, CAS
No. 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, China
Tel: +86 10 6283 6133 Fax: +86 10 8259 2636 E-mail: jipb@ibcas.ac.cn
Copyright © 2022 by the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Online ISSN: 1744-7909 Print ISSN: 1672-9072 CN: 11-5067/Q