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Low Light, Eyesight and Deepwater Foraging Success

Project Summary

Despite living in dimly lit environments, deepwater sculpin, kiyi, and siscowet rely on visual cues to forage and to avoid predators. Sea Grant researchers will define the visual acuity of these native Lake Superior species by studying their physiological and behavioral responses to different light intensities in thermally controlled aquariums. The laboratory investigations will help the researchers to identify mechanisms that allow these species to thrive in low-light environments. These findings will be included in computer simulations to aid fisheries managers as they decide whether to open a siscowet fishery or not. The simulations will indicate the degree to which harvesting siscowet could affect Lake Superior's food web. Understanding the relationship between the species and distinct light levels will help researchers consider how potential changes in Lake Superior's temperatures and light regimes could alter the interactions between predatory siscowet and their prey.

Related Minnesota Sea Grant research:

Related Minnesota Sea Grant information:

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