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Lake Erie study

Posted on behalf of John Lavelle <aa4532@lcfn.org>

Perhaps you can help me. I have been conducting
a small research project for the last seven or eight
years on Lake Erie at an area known as Avon Point. 
I enjoy trying to work out most of the problems in 
this research project on my own but was curious has 
to how wide spread the animal cycles and changes in 
the fauna of the Lake's bottom are. I have attempted 
to find related studies but to no avail.
I am not asking that you provide answers to the
following questions but would greatly appreciate knowing
where to find the studies done on these rather basic
biological events.

1) Every year the Peritech, Zoothamnium, becomes one 
of the dominant organisms of the reef. How widespread
is their dominance and what causes their rapid yearly
disappearnce? Also as they are normally considered 
epibonts why is it they are found almost exclusively
on inanimate objects?

2) After the Zoothamniums disappear the Hydras take 
their place and usually dominate the bottom until the
end of June. How widespread is their dominance and,
as in the Zoothamnium, what causes their sudden 

3) Since the coming of the Rounded Gobies the planarians
have become all but extinct on the reef. This area 
used to support a population of several hundred planarians
per square meter. How widespread is the planarians 

4) Related perhaps to the disappearance of the planarians
has been the great increase in the number of colonies 
of the Bryozoans. How widespread has been their increase?

5) Finally the 5 species snails that have lived on the
reef have disappeared. Their population has been decreasing
every year since I began this study. Perhaps their 
final disappearance is related to the gobies but their
decline began long before the gobies where found here.
What has been the cause of their long term decline and
how widespread is it? Is the disappearance of the snail
Gyraulus parvas a local phenomena or is the species
extinct know throughout the Lake Erie area?

   Again I don't expect you to answer the above questions,
if you could just list the studies dealing with these
questions I would be most thankful.

John Lavelle

One last question, do you know of any recent studies
dealing with the swarming of zooplankton. I have run
into a couple of swarms and except for Boucherle 
study (Broucherle 76) I can not find any studydone
swarming. As these swarms change the very nature of
how zooplankton is defined I would hope that this
area is being studied intently. Please let me know
if it is.

Thanks again