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Current Research

Effects of suspended sediment on Orconectes virilis chemical stress signals and behavior

As the climate continues to change aquatic ecosystems will likely experience altered environmental conditions. Climate change will result in more intense rain events and higher erosion in some portions of the world. Erosion is likely to result in increasing water turbidity. At this point it is not understood how the changes in the physical characteristics of aquatic environments due to increasing sedimentation that are modeled under many climate change scenarios will impact the fitness and behavior of crayfish in the future. This study was designed to determine 1) if suspended sediment triggers an increase in the quantity of chemical stress signals that crayfish release in urine and 2) if crayfish behavior is altered when exposed to chemical stress signals triggered by suspended sediment. All experiments were conducted in artificial streams at the University of Michigan Biological Station's Stream Research Facility.

Associated Materials
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Real-time Conditions on Douglas Lake


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Researcher Photograph

Photo of Dr. Theodora, 1936