Zebra and Quagga Mussels: Molecular Monitoring and Viability of _Dreissena_ Veligers
Project ID: 6911
Principal Investigator: Kevin Kelly
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Priority Area Assignments: 2010 (Zebra and Quagga Mussels), 2011 (Zebra and Quagga Mussels)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2010
* Can current monitoring methods be improved to allow for the unique and unambigious detection of _Dreissena_ species?
Need and Benefit
A majority of Reclamation facilities are still not infested with zebra or quagga mussels. However, Reclamation reservoirs in four of the five Reclamation regions (Great Plains, Upper Colorado, Lower Colorado, and Mid-Pacific) are currently infested. Without proactive monitoring to slow or stop the spread of these invasive species, other reservoirs can easily become infested. Zebra and quagga mussels have the ability to attached to a variety of surfaces and impede the flow of water. Therefore, Reclamation has a need for a monitoring program that will allow managers to implement accommodating and/or preventative measures in a timely manner at Reclamation facilities.
The larval veliger is the primary means of colonization in new freshwater environments and offers the best avenue for early detection due to its much greater abundance and spatial distribution (relative to attached adults) in the early stages of infestation. For this reason, many early warning monitoring programs use microscopic or molecular methods to detect veligers.
There is also a need to measure veliger transport and viability in water delivery systems, where monitoring may be performed to measure the effectiveness of control measures or to make real-time modifications to implemented control measures to maintain effectiveness.
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