Collaborative research effort with DFWI's Keck Water Research Lab
Cloaked in a delicate brown and cream striped shell and measuring a mere inch in length, the zebra mussel certainly doesn’t look ominous.
This tiny invasive species, however, has wreaked havoc in waterways across Europe and North America.
Scientists and municipalities in affected areas struggle with how to eradicate the mussels quickly without causing wide-scale damage to the surrounding ecosystem by using harmful pesticides or other damaging chemicals to remove the mussels.
A recent zebra mussel eradication program led by scientists at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute is now providing a promising example of how zebra mussel populations can be successfully controlled without damaging the natural ecosystem.
Corbicula fluminea Positively Identified in Lake George
The Darrin Fresh Water Institute (DFWI) has discovered a new invasive fresh water clam species in Lake George. This species, found by DFWI student Jeremy Farrell, was located in the Village of Lake George and poses a serious threat to native mussels and the Lake George ecosystem, according to Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer, director of DFWI.
Nierzwicki-Bauer said the species Corbicula fluminea is an invasive clam from Asia, capable of self fertilization, achieving densities of thousands per square meter, and crowding native species from their typical habitats.
Commonly known as the Asian clam, it is a light brown triangular clam that can survive in fresh and brackish waters. If the invasion is a localized one, it may be possible to eradicate, she added. The dominant native mussel in Lake George is Elliptio complanata.
Other DFWI News
Graduate Student and DFWI researcher Jeremy Farrell sampling through the ice on Lake George, NY in February 2011 (photo: Brian Keleher)