Written by Industry Expert Bob Schindler, Aquatic Biologist
Ecological impacts, habitat distinctions, and sustainable management options for Zebra and Quagga mussels in freshwater environments
Widespread occurrences of both Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and Quagga mussels (D. rostriformis bugensis) have been well documented since their initial confirmation within the Great Lakes during 1986 and 1991, respectively. These two species of invasive aquatic shellfish have been a focus of research and public education as their infestations have rapidly expanded to include a major portion of the Northeastern United States, along with localized infestations now confirmed west of the Rockies. While many of the significant ecological impacts are mutually shared between both species of mussel, there are key morphological and potential habitat distinctions that can aid in identifying the threat level of introduction, especially within small lake and pond environments.