Invasive Quagga Mussel Impacts on the Lake Havasu Ecosystem

Project ID: 21058
Principal Investigator: Aaron Murphy
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Funded Fiscal Years: 2021
Keywords: None

Research Question

Invasive dreissenid mussels have significantly impacted other invaded ecosystems. Changes to the environment include: (1) transfers of energy to littoral areas, with concurrent increases in benthic biomass, (2) improvements to water clarity leading to expanded aquatic plant coverage, (3) changes to food webs and fish communities, and (4) an increased likelihood of harmful algal blooms. Our current understanding of the ecological effects of dreissenid mussels, however, relies heavily on research conducted at natural, temperate lakes in the eastern United States and the response of ecological communities in western reservoirs remains an unanswered question. Most infested or threatened waterbodies in the western US are artificially created and have a subtropical climate, which could lead to unexpected impacts.
This project will improve our understanding of how invasive quagga mussels have impacted the ecosystem of Lake Havasu and the rest of the Lower Colorado River system since their discovery in 2007. Long-term changes to the environment of infested reservoirs poses a threat to recreational sport fisheries, as well as other native fish and wildlife.

Need and Benefit

This proposal was coordinated with the Invasive Species Research Coordinator, Sherri Pucherelli.

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 Quagga Mussel Impacts on the Lake Havasu Ecosystem (final, PDF, 1.4MB)
By Aaron Murphy
Report completed on September 30, 2021

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

Return to Research Projects

Last Updated: 6/22/20