Comparison of lipid peroxidation and catalase response in invasive dreissenid mussels exposed to single and multiple stressors.
Dreissenid mussels Dreissena bugensis (quagga mussel) and Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) are prolific invasive species to the freshwaters of the United States and Western Europe. In the Great Lakes, D. polymorpha has initially dominated the system since its invasion in the mid-1980s; however, recently D. bugensis has displaced D. polymorpha as the dominant species. Dreissena bugensis has several competitive advantages over D. polymorpha, including greater tolerances to deeper and colder waters and lower respiration rates. Nevertheless, physiological differences between the species remain largely unknown. The oxidative stress response is a mechanism used by all organisms to mitigate environmental stress by reducing oxygen radicals in the body, and comparing this mechanism between similar species can be useful for understanding how different species compete in aquatic environments. We compared oxidative stress biomarkers (lipid peroxidation [LPO] and catalase [CAT] activity) in mussels after exposure to 4 stressors (i.e., high densities, temperature, hypoxia, and polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]) independently and in combinations of 2 stressors. Overall, D. bugensis had lower LPO and CAT activity than D. polymorpha when exposed to single stressors; however, in multiple stressor treatments D. bugensis had increased LPO, especially with high temperatures and PCBs. The lower lipid damage in D. bugensis compared with D. polymorpha under single stressor conditions may come at the cost of the ability to respond to multiple stressors.