Zebra Mussels

Hello readers! Welcome back to my blog.  It is officially one more month till summer. hooray! The topic for today’s post is invasive species.

Basically, invasive spices are species of plants, animals, fungus or bacterium that are not native to an area. When new species get introduced into different ecosystems, they will effects the economy and the environment negatively. However, not all introduced species are harmful.

Invasive species are a major destruction to our environment because they can change habitats and alter ecosystem function, out grow or replace native species and damage human activities.  They can also cause disease, act as predators, parasites and competitors to native species.  Invasive species are cabable of causing extinctions of native organisms.

There are several pathways invasive species can be brought into new environments due to human interventions.  Some of them are shipping vessels, recreational and commercial boating,release of bait, trading and unauthorized introductions.  Once an invasive spices is established, it is extremely have to be remove.

Dreissena_polymorpha1

In 1988, zebra mussels or Dreissena polymorpha were found in Lake St. Clair in Ontario in the Great Lakes.  As the water channels are all connected in the area, the species spread rapidly to the rest of the waterways. Many people introduce zebra mussels unknowingly through live wells, bilge water, bait buckets and fishery gears.  Zebra mussels also attach themselves to boat hulls as boats move from one lake to another.

mussels_small

A current meter covered in zebra mussels

Zebra mussels can clog water intake pipes, foul beaches and kill native clams, disrupting the whole ecosystem.  The government spends hundreds of millions dollars to repair damages caused from zebra mussels.  Their feeding causes an increase in water clarity which increased light penetration and an overgrowth of vegetation and toxic algal bloom.

check out the link below for more details on stopping zebra mussels’ invasion.
>//>http://www.noaa.gov/features/earthobs_0508/zebra.html

 

 

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