PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSE OF NATIVE UNIONID MUSSELS TO ZEBRA MUSSEL INVASION
One of the fastest growing threats to North America’s native freshwater mussel is the invasion of Eurasian Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Since the introduction and rapid spreading of invasive Dreissenid mussels throughout North America, native Unionid species have experienced dramatic declines—with many reports of local extirpation, but some situations of possible coexistence. Despite well-documented declines in native mussel populations to Dreissenid invasion, the mechanisms through which Unionids are locally extirpated is not well understood. Zebra mussel populations began exploding in the Mendota Lake (Dane Co., WI) in 2016, they have since quickly colonized the three lakes downstream. We collected individuals from two common Unionid species (Lampsilis siliquoidea and Pyganodon grandis) across a Zebra mussel infestation gradient. Hemolymph samples were extracted for metabolomic analysis, soft tissues were dried, weighed, and assessed for glycogen content. Preliminary glycogen analysis suggests that body condition might be worsening for Unionids in the earliest invaded lake, but the powerful new tool of metabolomics may provide a more detailed look into how Unionids respond to Zebra mussel invasions and explore the main drivers of their expected collapse.
Emily Stanley (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Wisconsin - Madison, email@example.com;
Vincent Butitta (Primary Presenter/Author), Center for Limnology, firstname.lastname@example.org;