Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasive potential of golden and zebra mussels in present and future climatic scenarios in the new world.

Abstract

Biological invasions and climate change are important drivers of biodiversity loss. In freshwater ecosystems, golden and zebra mussels are two highly aggressive invasive species that have caused ecological and economic damages in South and North America, respectively. Here, we used ecological niche models (ENMs) to investigate the invasive potential of golden and zebra mussels in present and future scenarios of global warming in the New World. We found two main patterns in the distribution of suitable areas for golden and zebra mussels. First, the distribution of potentially suitable areas, both in present and future scenarios, is different between mussel species: zebra mussel has areas that are more suitable in temperate regions, while suitable areas for golden mussel are concentrated in tropical and subtropical regions. Second, suitable habitats for golden mussel will increase more in future global warming scenarios compared to suitable habitats for zebra mussel. Indeed, there are experimental indications that zebra mussel has a lower tolerance to high temperatures compared to golden mussel, which is in agreement with our findings. We recommend that the future monitoring of both golden and zebra mussels in the New World should consider areas of highest thermic suitability for current and future scenarios.