Apostle Islands National Lakeshore protects several unique ecosystems, but the most noticeable is the interface of land and water. Systems of rock pools can be found at this interface, which are unique and unstudied in this area. These small and sometimes ephemeral water bodies are unique ecosystems that have diverse chemical, biological, and ecological features. The Mapping and Biological Studies of Shoreline Rock Pools study addresses a lack of basic knowledge of these systems at ISRO, APIS, and PIRO National Parks. Our survey of the Apostle Islands found rock pool systems on Bear, Devil’s, and Stockton Islands. Rock pools on Devil’s Island contained salamander larvae and eggs, as well as spring peeper eggs. Rock pools on Bear Island supported stoneflies and predacious diving beetles. Invasive spiny water fleas were found in pools on Stockton Island and in Lake Superior near shore to Bear Island (but not in the pools). Complete zooplankton, macroinvertebrate, amphibian, algae, water chemistry analysis and maps of rock pool distribution are forthcoming.
Did You Know?
Black bear populations on the islands have their ups and downs. Between 2002 and 2010 the bear population on Stockton Island fell from 26 to 13. More bears were found on Oak Island (18) than on Stockton, and the numbers on Sand Island almost doubled from 6 to 10 individuals during that time.