Too Little Phosphorus and the Relationship to Invasive Mussels

GBF is partnering with CurrentCast to share information they develop with other partners about water stewardship and sustainability in the Great Lakes and surrounding watersheds.
The lowdown on phosphorus levels…on this CurrentCast.

Mussels are great water filters, but too many can do more harm than good.

Quagga and map Picture

Excess phosphorus is a problem in many parts of the great lakes. But in Saginaw bay, invasive mussels are removing so much that there’s not enough making its way to the deep waters of Lake Huron.

Craig Stow of the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab says when phosphorus levels are low…

Stow: “What you see is a decrease in productivity in the lake there’s less phytoplankton.”

Fewer phytoplankton means less food for small fish and ultimately larger fish too, like salmon and lake trout.

So while too much phosphorus is a problem, too little is also a low blow for the ecosystem.
CurrentCast is a project of the Center for Transformative Action based at Cornell University. CurrentCast is produced in partnership with Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University provides scientific content support and reviews all editorial ideas. CurrentCast is produced in partnership with Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.CurrentCast content is owned by ChavoBart Digital Media, Inc. Learn more online at CurrentCast.org.

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Explore GBF’s Related Projects

1. Protecting and monitoring biodiversity. Learn more
2. Improving Water Quality Assessment including phosphorus levels. Learn more
3. Examining Cage Aquaculture. Learn more