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What is an Ecosystem and Why is it Important: A Socio-Economic Perspective. 1895—F.T. Stone Laboratory 1970—Center for Lake Erie Area Research (CLEAR) 1977-78—Ohio Sea Grant College Program 1992—Great Lakes Aquatic Ecosystem Research Consortium (GLAERC) Reutter.1@osu.edu

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jeffrey m reutter ph d director
1895—F.T. Stone Laboratory

1970—Center for Lake Erie Area Research (CLEAR)

1977-78—Ohio Sea Grant College Program

1992—Great Lakes Aquatic Ecosystem Research Consortium (GLAERC)

Reutter.1@osu.edu

614-292-8949; fax 614-292-4364

www.sg.ohio-state.edu

Jeffrey M. Reutter, Ph.D. Director
slide3

Gibraltar Island

Village of

Put-in-Bay

On South

Bass Island

commom definitions 1
Biology = the science of life

Ecology = science of interrelationships between living organizms and their environment

Populations = groups of the same kind of organisms (species)

Community (or biotic community) = all of the “populations” occupying a given area

Commom Definitions—1
commom definitions 2
Major community = of sufficient size and completeness to be relatively independent of adjoining communities

Ecosystem = the community (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) physical environment function as an “ecological system” or ecosystem

Commom Definitions—2
ecosystem management
Manipulation of the populations and the abiotic environment to achieve a desired outcome

Sometimes difficult to determine appropriate boundaries for the ecosystem, i.e. the more independent it is of adjoining systems, the better. Otherwise, we have to be able to manage the inputs and outputs between adjoining system.

Ecosystem Management
challenges
Biology/life history of each species

Needs throughout life cycle

Range of travel/movement, i.e. how big is ecosystem

Interactions between species

Native and AIS

Impact of environmental alterations

Impact of our land-based activities on aquatic environment

Challenges
as a result lake erie gets
More sediment

More nutrients (fertilizers and sewage)

More pesticides

And is still biologically the most productive of the Great Lakes

As a Result, Lake Erie Gets:
managing the lake erie ecosystem
Reduce phos loading from 29,000 to 11,000 tons

Walleye harvest 112,000 to 5 million

Econ value of walleye fishery $650 mil

Charter businesses: 34 to over 1,200

Coastal related businesses: 207 to >425

Are stocks discrete between basins: should each basin be managed alone

Managing the Lake Erie Ecosystem
boating impact
$1.4 billion on Ohio’s economy

~ 400,000 registered boaters

1 job for every 19 boats

Boating Impact
ans zm history
1985-86—ZM arrives in Lake St. Clair

Not new—over 180 species have invaded the Great Lakes, and 2/3 since St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959.

15 Oct. 1988 First ZM found at Stone Laboratory

15 Nov. 1988 First Sea Grant research project initiated

15 Oct. 1989 ZM densities in western basin of Lake Erie reach 30,000/sq. meter

ANS/ZM History
zebra mussel impacts
Walleye population about 1/3 of previous levels and economic value falls to $250 mil

Fishing effort reduced

Less licenses sold

Less boats sold

Water clarity improves

HABs return

Zebra Mussel Impacts
round goby impact
Eat zebra mussels

Bioaccumulate PCBs

Transfer contaminants to SMBass (levels up without greater loading, i.e. importance of changes to trophic structure or ecosystem)

Nuisance to anglers

Eat SMBass eggs and fry

Out compete native sculpins

Round Goby Impact
closing thoughts
Don’t understand current Phos changes

Can enhance economic value by increasing habitat diversity—artificial reefs

12-66 times more fish

Pay for themselves 2.75 times/yr

Closing Thoughts