Wildlife and biological resources: Chapter 5 in A synthesis of aquatic science for management of Lakes Mead and Mohave

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U.S. Geological Survey

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The creation of Lakes Mead and Mohave drastically changed habitats originally found along their region of the historical Colorado River. While still continuing to provide habitat conditions that support a rich diversity of species within the water, along shorelines, and in adjacent drainage areas, the reservoirs contain organisms that are both native and non-native to the Colorado River drainage (fig. 5-1). The diversity of species within these lakes continues to change with time due to changing habitat conditions, the invasion of non-native species, and extirpations of native species. From the bottom of the food web to the top predators, all organisms within the ecosystem are interconnected in food webs or food-chain networks. As non-native invasive species continue to be introduced into the lakes, alterations to the food web, species competition, and species predation likely will continue to change the ecosystem and populations of native organisms. Following an overview of the food web, this chapter summarizes information on aquatic and aquatic-dependent wildlife at Lakes Mead and Mohave and their relationships within the food web from members of lower trophic levels to the highest: phytoplankton, invertebrates, including zooplankton, and macroinvertebrates; fishes; and birds. The following sections describe the biological diversity, limiting factors, and ecological functions of these groups in Lake Mead, and to a lesser extent, in Lake Mohave.


Biological diversity; Animal habitat; Wildlife habitat


Biology | Marine Biology

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