Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Better off dead: assessment of aquatic disinfectants and thermal shock treatments to prevent the spread of invasive freshwater bivalves.

Abstract

Biosecurity protocols designed to prevent further spread of invasive alien species have become a key component of invader management strategies. Yet, the species-specific efficacy of many biosecurity treatments are frequently unclear or unknown. Invasive quagga, Dreissena bugensis, and zebra mussels, D. polymorpha, are a serious threat to freshwater ecosystems worldwide. Here, we examine the effectiveness of immersion (≤ 90 min) within 2% or 4% solutions for two commonly used disinfectants (Virasure® Aquatic and Virkon® Aquatic) to cause mortality of adult Dreissena bivalves. Further, we assessed the effectiveness of thermal treatments: steam spray (≥ 100°C; ≤ 120 s); hot air (- 500°C; ≤ 60 s); and dry ice exposure (- 78°C; ≤ 300 g; 15 min). Complete mortality of D. polymorpha was observed following exposure to both disinfectants for 90 min, at both concentrations. However, high but incomplete mortality (40-90%) was recorded for D. bugensis across disinfectant treatments. For both species, complete mortality was achieved following 30 s of steam. In addition, 10 s of hot air and 15 min exposure to 300 g of dry ice can both completely killed groups of D. polymorpha. Overall, although the disinfectants did not cause complete mortality, it appears that relatively brief exposure to thermal treatments could be used to curtail the further spread of Dreissena species.