Open access web-based database of invasive aquatic research and water quality data
The factors determining where invasive quagga mussels and other invasive aquatic species are introduced into Reclamation waters, and what environmental conditions facilitate or inhibit the establishment of population within water bodies, remain poorly understood. The availability of data on introductions of mussels and associated water quality parameters will be invaluable in the development of models to understand quagga mussel invasions and the development of strategies to prevent the spread of this and other aquatic invasive species. Over the last decade the RDLES laboratory has collected over 15,000 data points on the presence or absence of quagga mussels, and water quality data, from Reclamation waters throughout the Western United States. The goal of the proposed research is to integrate these data into a publicly accessible and searchable web-based database that can be queried by researchers to aid in understanding the invasion biology of quagga mussels, limiting their further spread, and preventing the future introduction of other aquatic invasive species.
Need and Benefit
Need: Over 15,000 samples have been tested by the RDLES laboratory over the last decade for the presence of invasive zebra and quaqqa mussels. Along with microscopy and PCR screening results, geographic sample location and water quality data have also been collected. There is significant interest in the invasive mussel community to be able to utilize these data to model invasive mussel introductions and to develop strategies to prevent their further spread.
Benefit: This project will develop and deploy what is likely the largest comprehensive dataset of research on an invasive species. The broad temporal and geographic scale of the data, as well as consistency in the methods utilized to collect the data, will be invaluable as a tool for understanding the invasion dynamics of dreissenid mussels, particularly in picking out subtle or unexpected correlations between the environment and the establishment of mussels that might not be apparent in smaller datasets.
Urgency: Invasive mussels are an ongoing problem in Reclamation waters and continue to be found in new water bodies. The sooner the available data can be aggregated and made available, the sooner it can be interrogated for answers as to how these mussels become established in new locations and how their spread can be prevented.
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