Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Contribution of invasive bivalves (Dreissena spp.) to element distribution: phase interaction, regional and seasonal comparison in a large shallow lake.

Abstract

After introduction, the invasive bivalve dreissenids became key species in the biota of Lake Balaton, the largest shallow lake in Central Europe. The contribution of dreissenid soft tissue and shell, as biotic phases, in element distribution and its interaction with the water and upper sediment phases were examined in two basins with different trophic conditions in spring and autumn. Six metals (Ba, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn) were detected in all investigated phases. In general, metals were abundant in the water and soft tissue in the eastern basin in spring, and in the sediment and shells in the western basin in autumn. This might be associated with the more urbanized surroundings in the eastern, and the enhanced organic matter production in the western basin. High relative shares of Ba, Cu, Mn, and Pb were associated with the water and shell samples, whereas high shares of Fe and Zn were noted in the soft mussel tissue and sediments. Results suggest that dynamics of metal uptake by dreissenids depend on the seasonal change in metabolic activity. Shell metal content is less changeable; shells might absorb metals from both the soft tissue and water phases. Metallothionein peptides, the scavengers of intracellular metals, were determined to be biomarkers of the bulk contaminants rather than only metals. The present study shows that invasive bivalves, with high abundance, filtering activity, and storing capacity can significantly contribute to element distribution in the shoreline of a shallow lake ecosystem.