Intellectual Nourishment

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing, someone else does.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dreissena Mussels

By Sara Laub
There has been an “Aquatic Invasive Species Closure Order” for Sand Hollow Reservoir. All boats and equipment used on the reservoir during the past 30 days need to be decontaminated, to prevent the spread of the Dreissena mussel. I decided to find out more about this mussel from
Dreissena polymorpha, is a small freshwater bivalve. This species was originally native to the lakes of southeast Russia. However, it has been accidentally introduced in many other areas, and has become an invasive species in many different countries.
It is believed they were inadvertently introduced into the lakes in the ballast water of ocean-going ships traversing the St. Lawrence Seaway... Since adult zebra mussels can survive out of water for several days or weeks if the temperature is low and humidity is high, chain lockers provide temporary refuge for clusters of adult mussels that could easily be released when transoceanic ships drop anchor in freshwater ports. They have become an invasive species in North America.
Zebra mussels are filter feeders. When in the water, they open their shells to admit detritus. Zebra mussels are a great nuisance to people.
Since colonization of the Great Lakes, they have covered the undersides of docks, boats, and anchors. They have also spread into streams and rivers nationwide. In some areas they completely cover the substrate, sometimes covering other freshwater mussels. They can grow so densely that they block pipelines, clogging water intakes of municipal water supplies and hydroelectric companies.

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