Commentary: The need for model development related to Cladophora and nutrient management in Lake Michigan

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In the past 10 to 15 years, excessive growth of Cladophora and other attached algae in the nearshore regions of Lake Michigan has re-emerged as an important resource management issue. This paper considers the question, “What information is needed to predict the response of Cladophora production in Lake Michigan to management variables, such as nutrient loading, and to additional environmental variables that are outside of management control?” Focusing on Lake Michigan, while drawing on the broader literature, we review the current state of information regarding 1) models of Cladophora growth, 2) models that simulate the physical environment, 3) models that simulate nearshore and whole-lake nutrient dynamics, with a specific focus on the role of dreissenid mussels, and 4) monitoring of Cladophora abundance. We conclude that while substantial progress has been made, considerable additional research is required before reliable forecasts of Cladophoraresponse to nutrient loads and other environmental variables are possible. By providing a detailed outline of this complex, multidisciplinary problem, we hope that this paper will aid in coordinating collaborative research efforts toward the development of useful predictive models.

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Copyright © 2015 International Association for Great Lakes Research. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2015.03.023

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Journal of Great Lakes Research