Burrowing mayfly swarms signal a healthier ecosystem, USGS scientists say

While swarms of flying insects may have little appeal for most people, USGS biologist Thomas Edsall says the clouds of burrowing mayflies emerging from western Lake Erie this summer are a welcome sign of an ecosystem in recovery.

"They're telling us that the water's clean out there," Edsall says.

Burrowing mayflies are large aquatic insects that spend most of their lives -- about two years -- in their larval form, living in shallow bottom sediments of lakes. On the bottom of western Lake Erie, larval mayflies -- known as nymphs -- once numbered in the hundreds per square meter. But populations decreased dramatically in the 1950s due to deteriorating water quality, and throughout most of the next three decades burrowing mayflies were virtually absent from their former Great Lakes habitat.

For the last five years, however, a remarkable recovery has been under way. Edsall and his colleagues at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center report that nymphs in western Lake Erie have increased from near zero to numbers approaching those of the early twentieth century.

Edsall says the mayfly recovery is a strong sign that improvements in water quality, which have been taking place since the 1970s, have resulted in a healthier, more normally functioning ecosystem. "This is a real tribute to the EPA's enforcement of water pollution control laws, such as the Clean Water Act and U.S. and Canadian cooperation through the Great Lakes Quality Agreement," he says.

USGS and Canadian biologists have used several different methods to determine the past distribution and abundance of burrowing mayflies in Lake Erie and to understand how the insects have responded to different forms of water and sediment of contamination. Sediment core samples, dating back to about 1740, contain jaw parts and other preserved remains that provide a continuous record of burrowing mayfly densities in different regions of the lake. Other information comes from pe

Contact: John Gannon
United States Geological Survey

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Chemical signals health of brain cells Symposium
2. Activated signaling pathway may predict lung cancer patients response to gefitinib
3. NRH1 and Wnt signaling come together in convergent extension
4. Sequential signals choreograph embryonic tubule formation
5. Molecular traffic cop directs cellular signals
6. Stem cells commit to a future of fat with one signal
7. From lung to gut the Wnt signaling pathway transforms cell fate
8. Brain signal predicts working memory prowess
9. Fetal lungs provide a signal initiating labor, UT Southwestern researchers find
10. Ambient light influences the evolution of colour signals
11. Equine clonings triple play sheds light on calcium, cell signaling, human disease

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/1/2016)... 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled ... Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through ... Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By Type, ... Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market is ... account of growing security concerns across various end use ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... DUBAI , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... choice when it comes to expanding freedom for high ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there ... online conferencing system could ever duplicate sealing your deal ... are obtaining second passports by taking advantage of citizenship ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... DUBLIN , April 27, 2016 ... of the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) , The analysts forecast ... a CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... a number of sectors such as the healthcare, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Wausau, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... probiotic supplements, is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, ... supplements for over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   ... it has secured $1 million in debt financing from ... to ramp up automation and to advance its drug ... for its new facility. "SVB has been ... goes beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced positive ... its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials were ... studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics ... healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects were ... dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or repeated ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: