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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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What is an Ecosystem and Why is it Important: A Socio-Economic Perspective


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    1. What is an Ecosystem and Why is it Important:A Socio-Economic Perspective

    2. 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

    3. Gibraltar Island Village of Put-in-Bay On South Bass Island

    4. Stone LaboratoryGibraltar Island

    5. 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

    6. 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

    7. 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

    8. 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

    9. 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:

    10. Possible to get too much of a good thing, i.e. too many nutrients

    11. “I heard Lake Erie is the place fish go to die.” --Johnny Carson, 1976

    12. Blue-green Algae Bloom~1965-1970, Lake Erie

    13. Lake Erie Cross Section

    14. 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

    15. $1.4 billion on Ohio’s economy ~ 400,000 registered boaters 1 job for every 19 boats Boating Impact

    16. Zebra Mussel vs Quagga Mussel

    17. Byssal Threads

    18. 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

    19. 1974—Before Zebra Mussels

    20. 1994—After Zebra Mussels

    21. 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

    22. Round Goby

    23. 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

    24. 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