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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Distribution and Phenology of Didymosphenia Geminata in the St. Marys River, a Great Lakes Connecting Channel

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AUTHORS: Joseph Stutesman, Lake Superior State University Student, Ashley Moerke, Professor at Lake Superior State University

ABSTRACT: Distribution and Phenology of Didymosphenia geminata in the St. Marys River, a Great Lakes Connecting Channel
Authors: Joseph Stutesman, Jonathan Edwards, and Ashley Moerke
Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences, Lake Superior State University, Sault Sainte Marie, MI 49783
In recent decades, blooms of Didymosphenia geminata (Didymo), a stalk-producing diatom, have been observed more frequently in rivers throughout the world. In 2015, Didymo was documented blooming in the rapids of the St. Marys River, which was the first reported occurrence of Didymo blooms in Michigan waters. Didymo blooms can affect macroinvertebrates, fisheries, and aesthetics in streams and rivers, and therefore managers are interested in controlling these blooms. The objective of this study was to document distribution and quantify the density and blooming patterns (phenology) of Didymo in the upper St. Marys River (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario) in relation to water quality. Twenty-eight sites in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan were sampled for water quality and Didymo in mid-summer 2016 to document distribution. At two sites in the Main Rapids, water quality (e.g., conductivity) was measured in situ and rock scrapes were collected biweekly from May to September 2016 to quantify Didymo cell and stalk density. Didymo was present in 16 of the 28 locations sample, but presence was limited to sites ~30 km downstream of the rapids. Didymo was absent from tributary samples. Densities of Didymo cells and stalks were highest in the Main Rapids in late spring and declined throughout summer. These findings suggest that Didymo is currently restricted to the river, and blooms are highest in the in late spring, which may correspond to fish hatching and emergence timing. These data will serve as a baseline for monitoring Didymo change in Michigan waters.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Lancaster Ballroom

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