The Great Lakes have a long history of invasive species outbreaks, starting with the introduction of the sea lamprey in Lake Ontario in the 1830s. Zebra mussel colonies can also cause economic damage to pipes and underwater structures. This decreases food for zoo plankton and increases water transparency. Zebra mussels and the more recent invader quagga mussels belong to the dreissenid mussel family and many contend that they have had a more serious impact on the Great Lakes than any other invader. LELAND — Northwest Lower Michigan’s national park proved a fruitful natural laboratory for an invasive species study. Biologist Sonya Santavy, who found zebra mussels in 1988. If you see Zebra Mussels in your local waterways, report them using the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network's online reporting tool here >. Researchers scrape the dock's wooden pilings for zebra mussels, counting them to track the density of the invasive species in the lake. Information Sheet about Zebra and Quagga Mussel (printable PDF), Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network. The zebra mussel was first described from the lakes of southeast Russia and its … The mussels came to the Great Lakes in ballast water from ocean-going freighters and have since spread to hundreds of inland lakes. Water-treatment plants are most affected because the water intakes bring the microscopic, free-swimming larvae directly into the facilities. They remove particles from the water column, increasing water clarity. This decreases food for zoo plankton and increases water transparency. They sometimes have dark rings but are not always easily noticeable. Current projects | Completed projects. The Situation: Quagga and zebra mussels are aquatic invasive species that are native to eastern Europe.The quagga mussel originated from Dnieper River drainage of Ukraine. The zebra mussel had already colonized rivers and lakes across Western Europe thanks to an extensive network of canals. They hamper boating, swimming, fishing, hunting, hiking, and other recreation, and take an economic toll on commercial, agricultural, forestry, and aquacultural resources.The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) is a tiny (1/8-inch to 2-inch) bottom-dwelling clam native to Europe and Asia. Zebra mussels by PhotoLab507. Zebra mussels are an invasive, fingernail-sized mollusk that is native to fresh waters in Eurasia. In turn, this decreases food for zooplankton, increases water transparency, and leads to an accumulation of pseudofeces. Although the program is meant to curb the spread of all invasive species, this year the DEEP placed special emphasis on the dangers posed by the zebra mussel, a tiny mollusk already found in four Connecticut lakes. They disrupt the ecosystems by monotypic colonization, and damage harbors and waterways, ships and boats, and water-treatment and power plants. The Great Lakes ecosystem has been severely damaged by more than 180 invasive and non-native species. Invasive Species - (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) Restricted in Michigan Quagga mussels have fan-shaped shells that are more rounded than zebra mussels, and they won't sit flat on the ventral side. Case Study: Zebra Mussel. Zebra mussels can filter up to 1 liter of water each day. ... both by robbing food from native species that feed on plankton and also by increasing water clarity and thus making it easier for visual predators to hunt. This is especially impactful in tourist areas where Zebra Mussels have spread. Invasive Zebra Mussels. The shells color ranges from almost white to tan or brown and usually have darker concentric rings. 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