Variation in tissue stoichiometry and condition index of zebra mussels in invaded Swedish lakes
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We examined the spatial variation in carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus (C:N:P) stoichiometry and condition index of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), non-indigenous species, in four Swedish lakes with different productivity. Within-lake variability was observed in tissue C:N molar ratios of Dreissena in all lakes and in tissue C:P ratio only in three lakes. Depth had no effect on tissue C:P and N:P ratios of Dreissena. A positive correlation was found between C:N:P stoichiometry of seston and elemental composition of zebra mussel in one of the lakes. Tissue C:N and N:P ratios were the main factors that related to zebra mussel condition index. Zebra mussel condition was positively related to tissue C:N ratio. Smaller Dreissena had higher C:N ratio than larger Dreissena in two of the four lakes. Zebra mussels in the lake with highest productivity had lower C:P and N:P ratios than zebra mussels in the lake with lowest productivity. Our study suggests that the zebra mussel may modify their phosphorus content in relation to lake trophic state, and therefore cope with stoichiometric constraints which may explain the invasion success of this and other related species.
KeywordsZebra mussel Tissue C:N:P stoichiometry Spatial variation Condition index Productivity Invasion success
We acknowledge the financial support of the Swedish Research Council to R. N. and P. E., Oscar and Lili Lamm Memorial Foundation to R. N., and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to U. G. We thank Helena Enderskog, Jan Johansson, and Nazila H. Koupayeh for assistance in laboratory analysis and Dr. Lars Rudstam for discussion. Comments from Dr. Ladd Johnson and two anonymous reviewers greatly improved the manuscript.
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