Zebra Mussel Monitoring in the Richelieu River: A Fruitful Interaction between Scientific Research and Public Involvement

  • Yves de Lafontaine
  • Marcel Comiré
Conference paper

Abstract

As part of a collaboration between scientists from Environment Canada and COVABAR (a non-governmental organization), a 4-year study was conducted to monitor the presence, spread and potential impacts of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) along the Richelieu River. Taking advantage of riverbed cleanups conducted every September, a sampling program was set up to determine the annual colonization and spatial distribution of zebra mussels along the river between 1997 and 2000. A protocol for effective sampling coordination and scientific data acquisition was developed to allow that objects removed from the water be examined and the zebra mussels attached to them be counted and sampled. Results confirmed that the first massive invasion by zebra mussel occurred upstream of the Chambly Basin in 1996 and two years later at downstream sites. Size distribution of zebra mussels varied between years and sites which suggested strong variability in recruitment patterns along the river. This variability could be due to inter-annual variation in river discharge during summertime. Colonization rate of unionids by zebra mussels was still low in these early years of colonization in the river. It is recommended that a long term sampling program coupled with specific ecological studies be conducted in order to assess the abundance and impacts of zebra mussels in the Richelieu River. Sampling responsibility for such monitoring should be transferred to non-governmental organization in order to increase public awareness to the problem of exotic species and biodiversity.

Keywords

Great Lake Colonization Rate Zebra Mussel Downstream Site Upstream Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ackerman, J.D., Sim, B., and R. Claudi, R., 1994, A review of the early life history of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha): comparisons with marine bivalves, Can. J. ZooL 72: 1169–1179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borcherding, J., and de Ruyter van Steveninck, E.D., 1992, Abundance and growth of Dreissena polymorpha larvae in the water column of the River Rhine during downstream transportation, in: The Zebra Mussel Dreissena polymorpha: Ecology, Biological Monitoring and First Applications in the Water Quality Managemen4 D. Neumann and H.A. Jenner, eds., Gustav Fischer, Stuttgart, pp. 29–44.Google Scholar
  3. Claudi, R., and Leach, J.H., 2000, Nonindigenous Freshwater Organisms: Vectors, Biology, and Impacts, CRC Press Inc., Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, 464 p.Google Scholar
  4. Claudi, R., and Mackie, G.L., 1993, Practical Manual for Zebra Mussel Monitoring and Control, CRC Press Inc., Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, 227 p.Google Scholar
  5. Claxton, W.T., Martel, A., Dermott, R.M., and Boulding, E.G., 1997, Discrimination of field-collected juveniles of two introduced dreissenids (Dreissena polymorpha and Dreissena bugensis) using mitochondrial DNA and shell morphology, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 54: 1280–1288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. de Lafontaine, Y., and Costan, G., 2002, Introduction and transfer of alien aquatic species in the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River drainage basin, in: Alien invaders in Canada’s Waters, Wetlands, and Forests, R. Claudi, P. Nantel, and E. Muckle-Jeffs, eds., Department of Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, pp. 7392.Google Scholar
  7. de Lafontaine, Y., and Cusson, B., 1997, Veligers of zebra mussels in the Richelieu River: an intrusion from Lake Champlain?, Proceedings of the Second Northeast Conference on Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species,April 18–19, 1997, Burlington, Vermont.Google Scholar
  8. Domm, S., McCauley, R.W., Kott, E., and Ackerman, J.D., 1993, Physiological and taxonomic separation of two Dreissenid mussels in the Laurentian Great Lakes, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 50: 2294–2297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eliopoulos, C., and Stengel, P., 1999, Lake Champlain 1998 Zebra mussel monitoring program, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Waterbury, Vermont, USA, 32 p.Google Scholar
  10. Gido, K.B., and Brown, J.H., 1999, Invasion of North American drainages by alien fish species, Freshw. Biol. 42: 387–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hart, R.A., Davis, M., Grier, J.W., and Miller, A.C., 2001, Survival of unionids following removal of attached zebra mussels, J. Freshw. EcoL 16: 29–34.Google Scholar
  12. Horvath, T.G., Martin, K.M., and Lamberti, G.A., 1999, Effect of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorphe, on macroinvertebrates in a lake-outlet stream, Am. Midi. Nat. 142: 340–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Horvath, T.G., Lamberti, G.A., Lodge, D.M., and Perry, W.L., 1996, Zebra mussel dispersal in lake-stream systems: source-sink dynamics?, J.N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 15: 564–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jantz, B., and Neumann, D., 1992, Shell growth and aspects of the population dynamics of Dreissena polymorphe in the River Rhine, in: The Zebra Mussel Dreissena polymorpha: Ecology, Biological Monitoring and First Applications in the Water Quality Management, D. Neumann and H.A. Jenner, eds., Gustav Fischer, Stuttgart, pp. 48–66.Google Scholar
  15. Johnson, L.E., and Carlton, J.T., 1996, Post-establishment spread in large-scale invasions: dispersal mechanisms of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorphe, Ecology 77: 1686–1690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kilgour, B.W., and Mackie, G.L., 1993, Colonization of different construction materials by the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), in: Zebra Mussels: Biology, Impacts, and Contro4 T.F. Nalepa and D.W. Schloesser, eds., Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 167–173.Google Scholar
  17. Lapierre, L., and de Lafontaine, Y., 1996, Colonisation de !’épave du Lady Sherbrooke par les Moules zébrées,Environnement Canada, Conservation de l’Environnement, Centre Saint-Laurent, Scientific and Technical Report Series ST-48, 17 p.Google Scholar
  18. Lewandowski, K., 1982, The role of early developmental stages in the dynamics of Dreissena polymorpha (Pall.) (Bivalvia) populations in lakes. II. Settling of larvae and the dynamics of settled individuals, Ekol. Pol. 30: 223–286.Google Scholar
  19. Marsden, J.E., Spidle, A.P., and May, B., 1996, Review of genetic studies of Dreissena spp., Amer. Zool. 36: 259–270.Google Scholar
  20. Marsden, J.E., and Lansky, D.M., 2000, Substrate selection by settling zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, relative to material, texture, orientation, and sunlight, Can. J. ZooL 78: 787–793Google Scholar
  21. Martel, A., 1995, Demography and growth of the exotic zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in the Rideau River (Ontario), Can. J. ZooL 73: 2244–2250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McMahon, R.F., 1996, The physiological ecology of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, in North America and Europe, Amer. ZooL 36: 339–363.Google Scholar
  23. Mellina, E., and Rasmussen, J.B., 1994, Patterns in the distribution and abundance of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in rivers and lakes in relation to substrate and other physicochemical factors, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 51: 1024–1036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Metcalfe-Smith, J.L., Staton, S.K., Mackie, G.L., and Lane, N.M., 1998, Changes in the biodiversity of freshwater mussels in the Canadian waters of the lower Great Lakes drainage basin over the past 140 years, J. Great Lakes Res. 24: 845–858.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mills, E.L., Strayer, D.L., Scheuerell, M.D., and Carlton, J.T., 1996, Exotic species in the Hudson River basin: a history of invasions and introductions, Estuaries 19: 814–823.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mills, E.L., Chrisman, J.R., and Holeck, K.T., 2000, The role of canals in the spread of nonindigenous species in North America, in: Nonindigenous Freshwater Organisms: Vectors, Biology and Impacts, R. Claudi and J.H. Leach, eds., CRC Press Inc., Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 347–380.Google Scholar
  27. Nalepa, T.F., Wojcik, J.A., Fanslow, D.L., and Lang, G.A., 1995, Initial colonization of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron: population recruitment, density, and size structure, J. Great Lakes Res. 21: 417–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nalepa, T.F., Hanson, D.J., Gostenik, G.W., Fanslow, D.L., and Lang, G.A., 1996, Changes in the freshwater mussel community of Lake St. Clair: from Unionidae to Dreissena polymorpha in eight years, J. Great Lakes Res. 22: 354–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nichols, S.J., 1996, Variations in the reproductive cycle of Dreissena polymorpha in Europe, Russia, and North America, Am. Zool. 36: 311–325.Google Scholar
  30. Nichols, S.J., and Amberg, J., 1999, Co-existence of zebra mussels and freshwater unionids: population dynamics of Leptodea fragilis in a coastal wetland infested with zebra mussels, Can. J. ZooL 77: 423432.Google Scholar
  31. Peters, R.H., 1984, The ecological implications of body size, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., 329 p.Google Scholar
  32. Piché, I., and Simoneau, M., 1998, Le bassin de la rivière Richelieu: Profil géographique, sources de pollution, intervention et assainissement et qualité des eaux, in: Le bassin versant de la rivière Richelieu: l’état de [’écosystème aquatique — 1995, Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Faune, Direction des écosystèmes aquatiques, Québec, Envirodoq No. EN980604, rapport EA-13, section 1.Google Scholar
  33. Pimente!, D., McNair, S., Janecka, J., Wightman, J., Simmonds, C., O’Connell, C., Wong, E., Russel, L., Zem, J., Aquino, T., and Tsomodo, T., 2001, Economic and environmental threats of alien plant, animal, and microbe invasions, Agricult. Ecosyst. Environm. 84: 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ramcharan, C.W., Padilla, D.K., and Dodson, Si., 1992, A multivariate model for predicting population fluctuations of Dreissena polymorphe in North American lakes, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 49: 150–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ricciardi, A., Whoriskey, F.G., and Rasmussen, J.B., 1995, Predicting the intensity and impact of Dreissena infestation on native unionid bivalves from Dreissena field density, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci 52: 1449 1461.Google Scholar
  36. Roe, S.L., and Maclsaac, H.J., 1997, Deepwater population structure and reproductive state of quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis) in Lake Erie, Can. J. Fish. Aquae Sci. 54: 2428–2433.Google Scholar
  37. Smirnova, N.F., Biochino, G.I., and Vinogradov, G.A., 1993, Some aspects of the Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in the former European USSR with morphological comparisons to Lake Erie, in: Zebra Mussels: Biology, Impacts and Contro4 T.F. Nalepa and D.W. Schloesser, eds.,. Lewis Publ., Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 217–226.Google Scholar
  38. Stanczykowska, A., and Lewandowski, K., 1993, Thirty years of Dreissena polymorpha ecology in Mazurian Lakes of northeastern Poland, in: Zebra Mussels: Biology, Impacts and Control, T.F. Nalepa and D.W. Schloesser, eds.,. Lewis Publ., Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 3–33.Google Scholar
  39. Stoeckel, J.A., Schneider, D.W., Soeken, L.A., Blodgett, K.D., and Sparks, R.E., 1997, Larval dynamics of a riverine metapopulation: implications for zebra mussel recruitment, dispersal, and control in a large-river system, J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 16: 586–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Strayer D.L., Powell, J., Ambrose, P., Smith, L.C., Pace, M.L., and Fischer, D.T., 1996, Arrival, spread, and early dynamics of a zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) population in the Hudson River estuary, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 53: 1143–1149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Toczylowski, S.A., and Hunter, R.D., 1997, Do zebra mussels preferentially settle on unionids and/or adults conspecifics?, in: Zebra Mussels and Aquatic Nuisance Species, F. D’Itri, ed., Ann Arbor Press Inc., Chelsea, Michigan, pp. 125–140.Google Scholar
  42. Toczylowski, S.A., Hunter, R.D., and Armes, L.M., 1999, The role of substratum stability in determining zebra mussel load on unionids, Malacologia 41: 151–162.Google Scholar
  43. Tucker, J.K., 1994, Colonization of unionid bivalves by the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, in Pool 26 of the Mississippi River, J. Freshw. EcoL 9: 129–134.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves de Lafontaine
  • Marcel Comiré
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Environment CanadaSt. Lawrence CentreMontréalCanada
  2. 2.COVABARBeloeilCanada

Personalised recommendations