|Title||Links between type E botulism outbreaks, lake levels, and surface water temperatures in Lake Michigan, 1963-2008|
|Publication Type||Manual Entry|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Lafrancois, Brenda Moraska, Stephen C. Riley, David S. Blehert, and Anne E. Ballmann|
|Journal of Great Lakes Research|
Relationships between large-scale environmental factors and the incidence of type E avian botulism outbreaks in Lake Michigan were examined from 1963 to 2008. Avian botulism outbreaks most frequently occurred in years with low mean annual water levels, and lake levels were significantly lower in outbreak years than in non-outbreak years. Mean surface water temperatures in northern Lake Michigan during the period when type E outbreaks tend to occur (July through September) were significantly higher in outbreak years than in non-outbreak years. Trends in fish populations did not strongly correlate with botulism outbreaks, although botulism outbreaks in the 1960s coincided with high alewife abundance, and recent botulism outbreaks coincided with rapidly increasing round goby abundance. Botulism outbreaks occurred cyclically, and the frequency of outbreaks did not increase over the period of record. Climate change scenarios for the Great Lakes predict lower water levels and warmer water temperatures. As a consequence, the frequency and magnitude of type E botulism outbreaks in the Great lakes may increase. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of International Association for Great lakes Research.