Document Type

Article

Abstract

Settlement and growth of quagga mussels Dreissena rostriformis bugensis were monitored in Lake Mead, NV, USA, where the first dreissenid occurrence was confirmed in the western United States. To measure the settlement rate of these invasive mussels, seven acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipes were attached to a line in shallow water (7.7 m below the surface) since November 23, 2007; eight ABS pipes were placed on another line in deep water (13.4 m below the surface) since January 3, 2008. Quagga mussels were sampled from these pipes on March 19, May 21, July 9, October 20, and December 19, 2008. Active settlement of veligers was recorded in all sampling events. The settlement rates of quagga mussels did not differ among the two lines and the highest settlement rate was found from October 20 to December 19. Three methods were used to estimate the growth of quagga mussels in Lake Mead: caged mussels, size distribution analyses on both natural populations and mussels attached to ABS pipes. Caged mussels were held in Las Vegas Boat Harbor from July 31, 2007 to March 19, 2008, where smaller mussels grew faster than larger ones. Size distribution data on two natural populations of quagga mussels collected from Sentinel Island and Indian Canyon in 2007 also showed that the growth rates decreased significantly as mussel size increased. Shell length data of cohorts collected from the ABS pipes were also used to estimate the growth of quagga mussels. The growth patterns of quagga mussels from the two lines were quite similar with the lowest growth rates detected from late summer to early autumn. The information on settlement and growth of quagga mussels from this study can help understand their population dynamics in the western United States.

Disciplines

Aquaculture and Fisheries | Biology | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences