Document Type

Article

Abstract

Dreissenid mussels including zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha Pallas, 1771), originating from the Ponto-Caspian area, and quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis Andrusov, 1897), originating from the mouths of the Rivers Southern Bug and Dnieper are both species native to Eastern Europe, which were accidently introduced into the Laurentian Great Lakes in North America in the 1980s in ballast water (Carlton 2008; Van der Velde et al 2010). Dreissenid mussels have created severe ecological, recreational and economic impacts on many systems because they are biofoulers and efficient ecological engineers that filter large quantities of water. Examples of these wide-ranging impacts are discussed by Turner et al. (2011) in this issue. Ecologically, invasive dreissenid species have been shown to affect a variety of changes, such as altering phytoplankton species composition and nutrient dynamics in the Great Lakes (Lavrentyev et al. 1995; Vanderploeg et al. 2001; Conroy et al. 2005; Zhang et al. 2011), impacting other organisms by direct colonization or indirect competition for food and/or space, and increasing water clarity by removing suspended particles (e.g., phytoplankton, debris, silt and microzooplankton) in the water column. The increased water clarity can then affect other ecosystem components, such as species abundance and community composition of microalgae and aquatic plant communities. The zebra/quagga mussel has become arguably the most serious nonindigenous biofouling pest introduced into North American freshwater systems (LaBounty and Roefer 2007) and one of the world's most economically and ecologically important pests (Aldridge et al. 2006). The spread of dreissenid mussels in recent years has slowed in recent years in many systems as the most vulnerable bodies of water have been colonized (Johnson et al. 2006), but will presumably continue for many years, until the entire range is filled (Strayer 2009).

Disciplines

Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology | Water Resource Management

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