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Keywords:

  • Bythotrephes cederstroemii;
  • exotic species;
  • Lake Michigan;
  • parthenogenesis;
  • resting egg

1. Population characteristics (density, size, reproductive patterns) of the predatory cladoceran Bythotrephes cederstroemii in south-east Lake Michigan were monitored at an offshore station (110 m) in 1995–98 and at a nearshore station (45 m) in 1997–98.

2. The mean density of B. cederstroemii at the offshore station was generally highest in July–September (145–914 m−2) and at the nearshore station in October–November (168–1625 m−2). In 1995 and 1998, density was also high at the offshore station in November (211–284 m−2). Fish predation may limit B. cederstroemii in nearshore regions in the summer. The maximum annual densities of B. cederstroemii for 1995–98 were generally similar to those reported from the late 1980s, when the species arrived in Lake Michigan.

3. Body size increased rapidly each year to a maximum in August. Thereafter, body size declined and converged for stage-2 and 3 individuals, suggesting food scarcity or size-selective fish predation was affecting large individuals.

4. Most reproduction occurred asexually (90%), and by stage 2 or 3 females (99%). Asexual brood size was highest when B. cederstroemii first appeared each year, and decreased in August, when larger neonates were produced. There appeared to be differences in reproductive mode for stage 2 and 3 females, with a higher percentage of stage 2 females reproducing sexually.