Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Impacts of invasive quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) on reservoir water quality, as revealed by progressive-change BACIPS analysis.

Abstract

Invasive quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) are an emerging threat to the functioning and management of freshwater ecosystems. Quagga mussels were first recorded in the UK in 2014 and have subsequently established at high densities in a number of major reservoirs. Through implementing a Progressive-Change BACIPS (Before-After-Control-Impact Paired Series) analysis, we found that the following trends were observed following quagga mussel establishment: reduced diatom and cyanobacteria abundances; increased soluble reactive phosphorus and reactive silica concentrations; and reduced abundances of Aphanizomenon sp., a potentially toxic cyanobacterium. We also found reservoirs with established quagga mussel populations experienced slightly increased overall chlorophyll a concentration but no changes in turbidity or Microcystis sp. abundance, which are often considered common indicators of dreissenid invasion. Our results show that Progressive-Change BACIPS analysis is a powerful tool which can be used to interrogate industry standard long-term datasets of water quality metrics in order to identify and quantify the impacts of invasive species when the approximate timeframe of species arrival is known. We also demonstrate that quagga mussels may have had significant effects on reservoir ecosystems which, primarily through their impacts on phytoplankton communities, may have implications for reservoir management.