Where in Lake Michigan Does Plankton Live?

This data set contains four spreadsheets of data on plankton distributions in lower Lake Michigan between 1998 and 2000. Data were collected by a plankton survey system and are organized by geographic area: Racine, Wisc.; Chicago, Ill.; Gary, Ind.; and St. Joseph, Mich.

Lake Michigan Plankton Data Set

View the Data: Where_LkMI_Plankton_Live

Suggestions: Comparisons can be made among geographic areas and among size classes of zooplankton (Bin 1, 2, or 3).

Sample Inquiry Questions:

  • Do surface zooplankton concentrations change with location or season? If so, do these differences relate to temperature? Chlorophyll? What about the concentrations at other depths?
  • Examine the vertical distributions of zooplankton of different size classes. Do these patterns vary by season? By location?
  • Do different size classes of zooplankton exhibit different patterns in vertical distribution? How do the different size classes of zooplankton affect biomass?
  • Is vertical distribution of zooplankton related to temperature? Light? Chlorophyll?
  • Does the abundance of the different size classes vary from month-to-month, year-to-year or place-to-place?
  • Is there a relationship between water temperature and chlorophyll?

Note: For a question to be testable, the locality, time and variables must be specific.