As part of my Ph.D. dissertation I ran and participated in experiments looking at the effects of zebra mussels on zooplankton and phytoplankton communities, and biogeochemical cycling. One experiment used 1,500-L mesocosms suspended in a pond, examining larval bluegill growth and microzooplankton abundance. On the day I was to collect fish from the mesocosms at the end of the experiment, the method I had intended to use just wouldn’t work. Looking around for a solution I found a large plankton net, and used that. Thankfully larval fish I introduced into the experiment survived, and I was able to catch them. In retrospect it was an awful risk to take, and underscores the need to do real pilot studies, which I would always recommend to students.  I helped run another experiment headed by Dr. Orlando Sarnelle, but scaled-up enormously to 50,000-L enclosures suspended in a lake. Products include: Raikow 2004, and Sarnelle et al, 2005.

  • Fields: Ecology, biogeochemistry
  • Study Type: Experiment
  • Ecosystems: Lakes
  • Organisms: Mussels, fish, plankton