MILC Sessions 13-15 Plants, Bacteria and Snails
From Renae Siler
- 00:00- Rare Aquatic Plant Species in Michigan: An overview of their Identification, Habitat Preferences, and Status, Elizabeth Haber, Michigan Natural Features Inventory
- 32:45- Monitoring enteric bacteria contamination in a freshwater watershed in Northern, MI using qPCR and a community participatory research framework, Kelsey Froelich, School of Public Health, University of Alberta
- 01:01:40- A novel schistosome species hosted by Planorbella (Helisoma) trivolvis is the most widespread swimmer’s itch-causing parasite in Michigan inland lakes, Deanna Soper, University of Dallas (Texas) | Co-authors: Sckrabulis, J. P, Ostrowski, M. D., Romano, D., Froelich, K. L., Reimink, R., McPhail, B., Rudko, S. P., Hanington, P. and Raffel, T. R
Rare Aquatic Plant Species in Michigan: An overview of their Identification, Habitat Preferences, and Status, Elizabeth Haber, Michigan Natural Features Inventory
Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) is part of Michigan State University Extension, and our goal is to guide the conservation of Michigan’s biodiversity by providing the highest quality scientific expertise and information. To help achieve this goal, MNFI curates a statewide database with all known historical and current records of rare and endangered species. MNFI tracks the locations and population health of 26 rare aquatic plant species in Michigan. This presentation will give an overview of the rare plant species in Michigan: focusing on identification, growth forms, habitat preferences/general locations where they can be found, and their conservation needs. The rare aquatic plants in Michigan range from waterlilies and waterlily-like plants, to submersed pondweeds and water-milfoils, to free-floating duckweeds and their relatives, to carnivorous plants, to tiny herbaceous species of shallow water, and even an aquatic fern ally! These rare aquatic plants are found in all kinds of waterbodies, ranging from the largest rivers in the state to quiet shores of shallow lakes. Half of these rare aquatic plant species are known from 6 sites or fewer in the state, and some of these species have not been observed for decades. There is a need for more information about the status and extent of rare plant species populations in Michigan in order to assess current their current conservation needs and their prognosis for thriving in the future.
Monitoring enteric bacteria contamination in a freshwater watershed
in Northern, MI using qPCR and a community participatory research framework, Kelsey Froelich, School of Public Health, University of Alberta
bacteria are a common and generally harmless part of the digestive
system of all animals, including humans. Certain species of enteric
bacteria are used as indicators of faecal pollution in water bodies.
Traditionally, faecal contamination has been measured using culturable
Escherichia coli (E. coli), but newer techniques using quantitative
polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) have proven to be advantageous to
traditional methods due to the speed of processing and ability to
undertake microbial source tracking studies on samples that are found to
be highly contaminated. In this study, we assessed the presence and
abundance of the faecal indicator bacteria Enterococcus at several
locations along a river input to Crystal Lake, MI and at several beach
locations that have historically presented high E. coli levels.
Enterococcus qPCR values were compared to cultured E. coli values and
each sample was assessed for human (HF183) and gull (LeeGull) faecal
markers to determine potential sources of contamination. After the first
year of data collection, qPCR results show a moderate correlation to
culturable methods, while 10 out of the 11 sampled locations showed
evidence of human fecal contamination. Five out of the 11 sampled
locations showed evidence of gull fecal contamination. Analysis of these
results, and other studies like it, can help lead management decisions
for a lake and provide evidence to support septic system analysis. This
project highlights the ability of community partners to participate in
research and monitoring projects at several levels, including question
generation and sample collection. We also provide support for the use of
qPCR for monitoring bacteria or other species of interest.
Cercarial dermatitis (“swimmer’s itch”; SI), characterized by small itchy bumps caused by schistosome parasites of birds, is a common problem in Michigan. Research on avian schistosomes began nearly 100 years ago in Michigan inland lakes, yet scientists are still uncovering basic biological information including the identification of local snail and parasite species that cause SI. Previous research primarily focused on lakes in the northern half of Michigan’s lower peninsula, although SI occurs throughout the state. We surveyed snails and snail-borne trematodes in lakes across Michigan’s lower peninsula and used qPCR analysis of filtered water samples to identify parasites to the species level, including a recently discovered parasite species that uses the snail Planorbella (Helisoma) trivolvis as its intermediate host. Most SI mitigation efforts have focused on a parasite species hosted by the snail Lymnaea catescopium (= Stagnicola emarginata); however, lymnaeid snails and their associated schistosome species were largely restricted to northern lakes. In contrast, P. trivolvis and its associated parasite species were common in both northern and southern Michigan lakes. A third schistosome species associated with physid snails was also present at low levels in both northern and southern lakes. These results indicate that the recently discovered parasite species and its planorbid snail intermediate host may be more important drivers of Michigan SI than previously thought, possibly due to increased definitive host abundance in recent decades. These results have potentially important implications for SI mitigation and control efforts.
Find more presentations from the 2022 Michigan Inland Lakes Convention here.