Zebra and Quagga Mussels: Pre- and Post- Impacts of Zebra/Quagga Mussels on the Physical, Chemical, and Biological Attributes on Reclamation Reservoirs

Project ID: 2113
Principal Investigator: Chris Holdren
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Priority Area Assignments: 2010 (Zebra and Quagga Mussels), 2011 (Zebra and Quagga Mussels)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2010
Keywords: None

Research Question

* What are the pre- and post-impacts of zebra/quagga mussels on the physical, chemical, and biological interactions in a Reclamation reservoir?

* How long can veligers exist in the waters, before adults are found on substrates?

* Does the introduction of veligers into reservoir waters cause changes to take place in the food web; and if so, how are these changes different from those that occur with adult mussels?

* What impact will the mussels have on the overall limnology of a reservoir?

* Why or why not can veligers and adult zebra/quagga mussels establish viable populations in this Colorado reservoir?

* And most importantly, how are these findings similar or different from infested lakes in the Eastern United States?

Need and Benefit

Existing capabilities and methodology for early detection of zebra and quagga mussels, and algal toxins are presently being developed and implemented by Reclamation scientists. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis for exotic mussels are being conducted by only a few other labs in the country.

Pueblo Reservoir in Colorado has been recently identified with zebra mussels and the effects on the aquatic environment are unknown at this time. At present, there are no effective solutions on stopping the mussels from reproducing; and, therefore, invading various sections of the reservoir. Investigating the zebra mussels' potential to degrade the present water quality of the reservoir is an important step in understanding what can be done to try to contain these exotic pests.

Few studies exist where veligers and adults have been followed from very early stages to investigate impacts on the food base and changes in the water quality of Western Reclamation reservoirs.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20