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Relative value of limnological, geographic, and human use variables as predictors of the presence of Bythotrephes longimanus in Canadian Shield lakes

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The Eurasian aquatic invader Bythotrephes longimanus has spread rapidly throughout the Great Lakes watershed, particularly in Ontario, Canada, since its introduction in 1982. To date, the documentation of its spread has been largely anecdotal, not the result of planned surveys, so the actual distribution of the invader and the determinants of its distribution in Ontario remain uncertain. We surveyed 193 lakes in south-central Ontario to determine the importance of lake size, lake location, hydrological connection, and various physical, chemical, and human activity parameters in predicting the spread of Bythotrephes within the 1600-lake Muskoka watershed, North America’s most heavily invaded lake region. Invaded lakes were larger than uninvaded lakes and had less acidic, more nutrient-poor, clearer waters. Contingency analyses indicated that invaded lakes were more accessible to humans and had more heavily developed shorelines. Shoreline coverage by cottages was the strongest predictor of Bythotrephes presence when all physical, chemical, and human use variables were included in a logistic regression model. Our results support the growing consensus that humans are primarily responsible for the spread of Bythotrephes.

L’envahisseur eurasien Bythotrephes longimanus s’est répandu rapidement à travers le bassin versant des Grands Lacs, particulièrement en Ontario, Canada, depuis son introduction en 1982. À ce jour, la récolte des données sur cet envahissement a été en grande partie anecdotique et non le résultat d’inventaires planifiés si bien que la répartition réelle de l’envahisseur et les facteurs déterminants de sa répartition en Ontario restent incertains. Nous avons inventorié 193 lacs du centre-sud de l’Ontario afin de déterminer l’importance de la taille du lac, de sa position géographique, ses connections hydrologiques et de diverses variables physiques, chimiques et anthropiques pour la prédiction de l’envahissement de Bythotrephes dans le bassin versant des 1600 lacs de Muskoka, la région lacustre la plus affectée en Amérique du Nord. Les lacs envahis sont plus grands que les lacs non envahis et possèdent des eaux moins acides, moins riches en nutriments et plus claires. Des analyses de contingence indiquent que les lacs envahis sont plus accessibles aux humains et ont des rives plus fortement développées. La couverture des rives par les chalets est la variable prédictive de la présence de Bythotrephes lorsque toutes les variables physiques, chimiques et anthropiques sont incluses dans un modèle de régression logistique. Nos résultats appuient l’opinion de plus en plus générale qui veut que les humains sont les principaux responsables de la dispersion de Bythotrephes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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