The impact of introduced round gobies (Neogobius me/anostomus) on phosphorus cycling in central Lake Erie
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Citation:Bunnell, David B.; Johnson, Timothy B.; Knight, Carey T. "The impact of introduced round gobies (Neogobius me/anostomus) on phosphorus cycling in central Lake Erie," Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, v. 62, no. 1, 2005, pp. 15-29.
We used an individual-based bioenergetic model to simulate the phosphorus flux of the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) population in central Lake Erie during 1995-2002. Estimates of round goby diet composition, growth rates, and population abundance were derived from field sampling. As an abundant introduced fish, we predicted that round gobies would influence phosphorus cycling both directly, through excretion, and indirectly, through consumption of dreissenid mussels, whose high mass-specific phosphorus excretion enhances recycling. In 1999, when age-1+ round gobies reached peak abundance near 350 million (2.4 kg.ha^-1), annual phosphorus excretion was estimated at 7 t (1.4 X 10^-3 mg P.m^-2·day^-l). From an ecosystem perspective, however, round gobies excreted only 0.4% of the phosphorus needed by the benthic community for primary production. Indirectly, round gobies consumed <0.2% of dreissenid population biomass, indicating that round gobies did not reduce nutrient availability by consuming dreissenids, Compared with previous studies that have revealed introduced species to influence phosphorus cycling, round gobies likely did not attain a sufficiently high biomass density to influence phosphorus cycling in Lake Erie.
This research was funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program Office, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory at Ohio State University.