Ecological Research Lab

Project ID: 19214
Principal Investigator: Diane Mench
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Funded Fiscal Years: 2019, 2020 and 2021
Keywords: None

Research Question

The goal of this research is to continue to develop Ecological Research Laboratory methodology and support participation in nationwide
collaborative efforts related to dreissenid mussel detection and control. Another goal of the work is to insure the
data gathered can be utilized to inform Reclamation and others about the spread of dreissenid mussels in Western US
waters so appropriate management actions can be implemented. The funding requested by this proposal will be
utilized for collaborative efforts with state and federal government agencies and other organizations across the United
States. Activities include sample processing, method development, addressing research questions, and testing stateof
the-art technologies. The data and capabilities will support a variety of other Research Office
funded projects that aim to understand the projected spread of invasive mussels based on environmental parameters
and conditions in the Western US.

Need and Benefit

Invasive dreissenid mussels (quagga and zebra) pose serious risks to Reclamation managed habitat and
infrastructure in the United States. The arrival of quagga mussels in Lake Mead in 2007 triggered Reclamation to
invest in developing and maintaining the lab. Based upon experience with zebra mussels in the Eastern U.S.,
if mussels are detected early, facility operators may have three to five years to plan, budget, and implement protective
measures before mussel populations are large enough to impair generation of hydropower and delivery of water by
clogging critical structures such as pipes, water intakes, drains, gates, and trash racks. One of the central goals of the
early detection and monitoring effort is to provide Reclamation facility managers the early warning they need to plan
for the arrival of invasive mussels. Early actions may also be taken to prevent the spread of mussels to other water

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Reclamation Ecological Research Laboratory (Eco Lab) FY19-FY21 (final, PDF, 2.7MB)
By Diane Mench
Report completed on September 30, 2021

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20