Earth Sciences Colloquium: "Ecological consequences of bottom hypoxia in aquatic ecosystems: Big problem or no big deal?"

Monday, 17 February 2014 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Join us in room UL1126 from noon-1pm on Monday February 3 to hear from Purdue's Thomas Höök, speaking on fisheries ecology.


High nutrient loading, both natural and anthropogenic, has led to the proliferation of hypoxic zones in coastal marine, estuarine and freshwater systems throughout the world. While these zones are often depicted as ecosystem stressors, clear demonstrations of negative impacts of bottom water hypoxia on fish populations are rare. High nutrient loading not only leads to bottom water hypoxia, but also enhances system-wide primary production and potentially benefits fish populations through bottom-up effects. In addition, most fish are highly mobile and readily avoid hypoxic waters, thereby minimizing direct lethality. Nonetheless, avoidance behavior may have a suite of indirect consequences as fish are exposed to novel abiotic and biotic conditions which may influence growth, survival and production rates. This presentation will explore these dynamics with a focus on the central basin of Lake Erie, where severe bottom water hypoxia may threaten a suite of ecologically and economically important fishes.