INFLUENCES OF MILL DEBRIS ON THE BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY IN MUSKEGON LAKE, MICHIGAN
Muskegon Lake is a 4,150-acre drowned river mouth lake located on the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. Historical anthropogenic stressors, including industrial discharges and shoreline alterations, caused ecological degradation within the lake leading to its designation as an Area of Concern (AOC) in 1985. Sawmill debris (saw dust, bark, woodchips), have caused continual negative impacts on the littoral zone of Muskegon Lake, specifically to the benthic macroinvertebrate communities. Benthic communities are an integral part of an aquatic ecosystem with the integrity of the system relying on organism abundance and assemblage. Previous studies have associated the presence of mill debris with impacted benthic communities due to changes in substrate stability. To examine the impacts of mill debris on Muskegon Lake, benthic macroinvertebrate samples were collected along transects at sites along the northeast shoreline at varying in depths. Preliminary analyses suggests that there was no statistically significant differences between mill debris and control sites. Our results indicate the presence of macrophytes within mill debris impacted areas may diminish the adverse effects of these materials.
Victoria Harris (Primary Presenter/Author), Grand Valley State University - Annis Water Resources Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Richard Rediske ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Grand Valley State University - Annis Water Resources Institute, email@example.com;
Brian Scull ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Grand Valley State University - Annis Water Resources Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org;