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Published on Apr 24, 2018
Invasive species are perhaps the greatest stressor currently facing the Great Lakes aquatic ecosystem. Some of them, like the Asian carps, have been identified as potential invasive species. Asian carp are highly abundant in the Illinois River and have been captured 47 miles away from Lake Michigan. They threaten to invade the Great Lakes and disrupt aquatic food webs and fisheries through their voracious consumption of large volumes of plankton. CIGLR has produced models for Lake Erie that show if Asian carps were to invade, they would dominate the fish community and seriously devalue the vital recreational and commercial fisheries present there. Currently, Dr. Hongyan Zhang, Peter Alsip (University of Michigan graduate student) and colleagues are working to develop similar ecosystem models to assess the Asian carp threat in the other Great Lakes and their embayments.