Invasive Mussels and Harmful Algal Blooms: Interactions and Detection Methods

Project ID: 21035
Principal Investigator: Jacque Keele
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Funded Fiscal Years: 2021
Keywords: None

Research Question

The connections that occur between HABs and invasive (quagga and zebra) mussels needs to be better understood as both are environmental issues that are of concern to local, state, and federal agencies. HABs have become a topic of interest for many water managers and researchers as the number of blooms seem to be increasing and their impacts are being reported. The environmental (fish kills, dog deaths, and other organisms impacted by the toxins) and economic (loss of recreation, drinking water and facility impacts) that HABs cause can impact both Reclamation reservoirs and facilities. Invasive mussels continue to infest new waterbodies causing significant impacts to Reclamation reservoirs and facilities by attaching to a wide range of solid surfaces (clogging pipes and trash racks). This creates shifts in the environment which impact the food web through their filter feeding. To curb the spread of mussels, extensive boat inspection programs are in place throughout the western US.
The central goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of how invasive mussels and algae that cause harmful algal blooms (HAB) blooms interact and what methods can be used in the lab and field to detect them.

Need and Benefit

This research proposal fits into EN, Invasive Species research category. Discussions with Sherri Pucherelli, Invasive Species Research Coordinator, showed the need for a research proposal that would study the possible links between HAB and mussels.

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.

Invasive Mussels and Harmful Algal Blooms: Interactions and Detection Methods (final, PDF, 1.4MB)
By Jacque Keele
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