Biological Invasions

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 89–96 | Cite as

Effects of Artificial Filamentous Substrate on Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Settlement

  • Nadine Folino-RoremEmail author
  • James Stoeckel
  • Emily Thorn
  • Laura Page


Though a great deal of research focuses on the range expansion and presence of adult zebra mussels, there is still a need to understand the processes of larval settlement and how that relates to adult populations. There is evidence that marine bivalves preferentially settle on filamentous substrates such as hydroid colonies and algae; however, similar studies are rare in freshwater systems. We examined the importance of filamentous substrate for the settlement of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) larvae by deploying PVC settlement plates with and without polypropylene filaments in the Bark River for a 6-week period. Larval supply was monitored weekly. Our results suggest that artificial filaments facilitated recruitment, primarily by increasing surface area available for attachment. Mussels on artificial filaments were significantly smaller in size than mussels attached to filamentous or control plate surfaces, providing some evidence that mussels may detach from filamentous substrate after initial settlement. This study adds to our general understanding about the role of filamentous substrates in the process of larval settlement and suggests that substrates colonized by filamentous epibionts may face increased risk of fouling by zebra mussels.


filamentous invasive species primary settlement secondary settlement substrate zebra mussel 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadine Folino-Rorem
    • 1
    Email author
  • James Stoeckel
    • 2
  • Emily Thorn
    • 1
  • Laura Page
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentWheaton CollegeWheatonUSA
  2. 2.Illinois River Biological StationINHSHavanaUSA

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