Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Detection and possible elimination of the first recorded population of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in Portugal from a reservoir.

Abstract

The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, has strong economic and environmental effects within a wide range of habitats, including reservoirs, and there is a need to monitor in advance of an arrival so that an elimination might be possible. We report the establishment of the zebra mussel in the Alfundão Reservoir, a small reservoir in south Portugal, 190 km away from the closest known population in Spain. The area has been monitored using suspended ropes since 2016, and during October 2019, mussels of 5-43.8 mm shell length were recorded for the first time in the Alfundão reservoir. The shallow lined reservoir was then chlorinated and drained. To date, this treatment appears to have been successful in eliminating this population. It is unknown how this mussel arrived, since the reservoir area has a surrounding exclusion zone.