Saturday, May 29, 2010

Zebra Muscles on the Chain - Is Weyauwega Lake next.

The above link goes to the story about the Zebra Mussels found in the Chain of Lakes. Lake Weyauwega is in danger due to the clear water, high level of dissolved oxygen and the abundant weed growth.

"Populations of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) were studied in western Lake Erie with sidescan sonar and remotely operated vehicles along with in situ collections to assess their expansion into soft substrate habitats. Because Dreissena has byssal threads for attaching to hard substrates, soft substrates have not been considered to be suitable habitats. However, this study clearly demonstrates that dense Dreissena populations exist in an extensive mosaic on sand and silt substrates. Microscopic examination of Dreissena assemblages on these soft substrates revealed that recently metamorphosed mussels can propagate their byssal threads over individual grains smaller than 1.0 mm. These byssal threads then proliferate, creating a conglomerate of sand grains for subsequent mussel colonization. This zebra mussel recruitment mechanism in soft substrate areas reflects their adaptive capacity to spread into novel habitats. Consequently, models which forecast the ecological impacts of this species must include their population dynamics in both hard and soft substrates."

Contact: P.A. Berkman, Ohio State University, Ohio Sea Grant
Keywords: Zebra_mussel, Basic_biology, Byssal_attachment
Product Type: Research, Basic_biology
User Type: General

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