Essay On Zebra Mussels

1281 Words6 Pages
Zebra mussels have now found there way to the United States originating from the Caspian Sea and sought habitation, originally, in Lake St. Claire when ballast water brought them in. From there, zebra mussels have spread and have caused havoc to the environments and its biodiversity, specifically, Presque Isle. Zebra mussels are filter feeders of zooplankton and phytoplanktons, making the water appear clearer, but not cleaner. They have negatively impacted the existence of clams, walleye and several other organisms. In order to preserve the biodiversity of Presque Isle, zebra mussels must be culled and controlled. Several methods that can be utilized to achieve this goal is by chlorination, poison, scraping, etc. What are Invasive Species? Invasive species are non-native organisms that occupy habitats and disrupt the natural ecological cycles of the habitat. They threaten the biodiversity of an ecosystem and are biological pollutants Invasive species introduced into new habitats usually maximize their reproduction in their new home and crowd out native species. Their lack of natural predators in their new community allow for a proliferation in growth and expansion as a result of their abundant food supply. Once they are established, invasive species can rarely be eliminated because their new habitat is favorable for their survival. Introduction to Zebra Mussels Zebra Mussels also known as Dreissena polymorpha are small freshwater mollusk that have been invading America’s rivers and lakes. They originated from the Balkans, Poland and Soviet Union. In 1988, they were found in a small body of water connecting Lake Huron and Lake Erie, known as Lake St. Clair. Biologists believe that European port in the ballast water of a ship, dis... ... middle of paper ... ...zebra mussel’s optimal temperature can effect their reproductive cycle. When the temperature of the water reaches about 13°C, the zebra mussels being their reproduction in Lake Erie. The eggs get fertilized when both the eggs and the sperm are released into the water, which then, develop into free-floating larvae called veligers. The larvae are carried by water currents, which allows them to expand their distribution. For about 10-15 days, the larvae are in the planktonic stage. After this stage, the veligers seek for a place of attachment and attach by using elastic fibers known as byssal threads. The point where mussels start to form their shells is known as the settling phase. If the temperature of the water is heated beyond their optimal temperature, then the zebra mussels will be under anaerobic conditions and will be halted from their process of reproduction.
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