Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Biological effects of water velocity and other hydrodynamic characteristics of flow on dreissenid mussels.

Abstract

The invasion of dreissenid mussels into inland waters of the Northern Hemisphere has received considerable attention and, both zebra mussels and quagga mussels continue to spread westward. Despite studies aimed at understanding the biology of dreissenid mussels, relatively few studies have focused on water velocity and other hydrodynamic characteristics of water flow. The objective of this review was to identify, through a search of online databases, the papers that have been made available that directly have assessed the influence of hydrodynamic characteristics of water flow on dreissenid mussel biology. Using Thompson Reuters Web of Science, Google Scholar, and other resources, 46 papers were identified. These papers detailed that metrics associated with hydrodynamics of water flow, including current, wave action, velocity, flow rate, and discharge, can influence the biology of dreissenid mussels (primarily zebra mussel, which were studied far more than quagga mussel). Hydrodynamic characteristics influenced external fertilization, larval development and settlement, juvenile recruitment and attachment, and suspension feeding, growth and abundance of adults. In most cases, the impact of higher flow rates were locally negative and may present an opportunity for applications of water flow to control the spread or establishment of dreissenid mussels. Several knowledge gaps have been identified.