Monday, September 13, 2010

Facing a Collapse: Lake Michigan's Ecosystem

Quagga, an invasive mussel, is effecting Lake Michigan's ecosystem by eating its way through the phytoplankton population. Scientists noticed the collapse of phytoplankton after winter storms. Normally, a phytoplankton doughnut is formed after storms to kick up nutrient rich sediment which provides a massive supply of food for phytoplankton and the entire lake. This doughnut lasts for weeks or even months. However, lately as soon as doughnut is discovered, it starts to disappear. This is the result of quagga eating away the edges of the doughnut when it is formed. This in turn effects the entire food chain and ecosystem of Lake Michigan. Click here to read more.