Stream flow is a major vector for zebra mussel spread among inland lakes. I hypothesized that vegetated waterways, i.e. wetland streams, would hinder downstream dispersal of zebra mussels in connected inland lake systems. To test this hypothesis, veliger (larva) abundance, recruitment, and adult mussels were surveyed in four lake-wetland systems in southeastern Michigan, USA from May through August 2006. Sampling was conducted downstream of the zebra mussel invaded lakes, beginning at the upstream edge of aquatic vegetation and continuing downstream through the wetland streams. Results showed that veliger abundance decreased rapidly in vegetated waterways compared to their previously reported rates of decrease in non-vegetated streams. Veligers were rarely found more than 1 km downstream from where vegetation began. Newly recruited individuals and adults were extremely rare beyond open water in the study systems. These results suggest that densely vegetated aquatic ecosystems limit the dispersal of zebra mussels downstream from invaded sources. Natural, remediated and constructed wetlands may therefore serve as a protective barrier to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species to other lakes and ecosystems.
|School:||The University of Toledo|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Dreissena, Invasive species, Lake-stream systems, Wetlands, Zebra mussel|
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