Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New national map shows relative risk for zebra and quagga mussel invasion

04.12.2007
There is considerable interest in determining the range of habitats an invasive alien species could possibly reach.

Since its discovery in the Great Lakes, the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has spread rapidly throughout waterways in the eastern US, negatively impacting ecosystems and infrastructure. A close relative of the zebra mussel and also of the Dreissena genus is the more slowly-spreading quagga mussel (D bugensis), found primarily in the Great Lakes

Based on published reports of the species’ preferred habitats and needs for survival, Thomas Whittier (Oregon State University) Paul Ringold (US Environmental Protection Agency), Alan Herlily(Oregon State University) and Suzanne Pierson (Indus Corporation) created a map to better determine where the quagga and zebra mussel may appear next, in their paper “A calcium-based risk assessment for zebra mussel and quagga mussel (Dreissena spp) invasion.” Their research appears in the online e-view version of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

According to the authors, “The rate of zebra mussel expansion was rapid from its discovery in 1988. After 1994, the rate of expansion slowed considerably.”

While expansion of the zebra mussel’s range continues in the Great Lakes and other inland locations, there has been no invasion of New England, the mid-Atlantic Piedmont and Coastal Plains, the Southeast, or areas west of the 100th meridian, despite climates and other conditions favorable for the organisms.

“Another Dreissena species, the quagga mussel was discovered in 1989 in the Great Lakes. It received less attention, as it appeared to be confined to deeper waters. However, as the quagga mussel spread, it began to dominate shallower waters previously occupied by zebra mussels,” said the researchers.

Originally limited to the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River, the picture of a slow replacement by quagga mussels changed suddenly with the discovery of well-established populations in Lake Meade, Nevada, and downstream areas. As of September 2007, these mussels have been discovered in California and Arizona as well.

“Our preliminary assessments suggested that current mussel distributions in North America appear to be associated with calcium concentrations in surface waters,” said Whittier. Calcium is an important element used in the creation of the mussels’ shell and basic metabolic functioning.

Given the recent Dreissna incursion into western states and continued uncertainty regarding non-invaded areas in the East the authors developed and evaluated a national-scale map of Dreissena species invasion risk, based on calcium concentrations in streams and rivers. Their primary data were taken from several large-scale surveys made by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program. They also utilized data from the EPA’s Wadeable Streams Assessment. The scientists then classified ecoregions into mussel invasion risk categories, from very low to high, based on calcium concentrations.

For the 48 contiguous states, regions comprising nearly 21 percent of land area were classified as very low risk or low risk. New England, most of the Southeast, and western portions of the Pacific Northwest fall into these categories.

High risk ecoregions comprised almost sixty percent of land areas. The majority of reported occurrences of Dreissena were in high-risk ecoregions.

There were a few exceptions, mostly in highly variable regions such as the Northern Lakes and Forests ecoregion, the Mississippi Alluvial Plain region, and Appalachian ecoregion.

“ One must take into account the entire ecology for the species. The case of the zebra mussels in Arkansas River in the very low risk areas, reflects the water source rather than the local conditions. The other key requirement for Dreissena in river systems is the presence of an invaded upstream lake or reservoir to maintain a supply of larvae," said Whittier.

According to the authors there is conflicting evidence of the quagga mussel’s calcium requirements, but they are assumed to be similar to the zebra mussels.

The researcher’s map, which depicts the relative risk of invasion by Dreissena, can help determine where management resources – especially in western states – should be targeted.

Annie Drinkard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>