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Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 23–42 | Cite as

Rapid range expansion of the invasive quagga mussel in relation to zebra mussel presence in The Netherlands and Western Europe

  • J. Matthews
  • G. Van der Velde
  • A. Bij de Vaate
  • F. P. L. Collas
  • K. R. Koopman
  • R. S. E. W. LeuvenEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Since its appearance in 2006 in a freshwater section of the Rhine–Meuse estuary (Hollandsch Diep, The Netherlands), the non-indigenous quagga mussel has displayed a rapid range expansion in Western Europe. However, an overview characterising the spread and impacts of the quagga mussel in this area is currently lacking. A literature study, supplemented with field data, was performed to gather all available data and information relating to quagga mussel dispersal. Dispersal characteristics were analysed for rate and direction and in relation to hydrological connectivity and dispersal vectors. To determine ranges of conditions suitable for quagga mussel colonisation, physico-chemical characteristics of their habitats were analysed. After its initial arrival in the freshwater section of the Rhine-Meuse estuary and River Danube, the quagga mussel demonstrated a rapid and continued range expansion in Western Europe. Quagga mussels have extended their non-native range to the network of major waterways in The Netherlands and in an upstream direction in the River Rhine (Germany), its tributaries (rivers Main and Moselle) and the River Meuse (Belgium and France). The calculated average quagga mussel dispersal rate in Europe was 120 km year−1 (range 23–383 km year−1). Hydrological connectivity is important in determining the speed with which colonisation occurs. Dispersal to water bodies disconnected from the freshwater network requires the presence of a suitable vector e.g. pleasure boats transferred over land. Upstream dispersal is primarily human mediated through the attachment of mussels to watercraft. The relative abundance of quagga mussel to zebra mussel has greatly increased in a number of areas sampled in the major Dutch rivers and lakes and the rivers Main and Rhine and the Rhine–Danube Canal leading to a dominance shift from zebra mussels to quagga mussels. However, evidence for displacement of the zebra mussel is limited due to the lack of temporal trends relating to the overall density of zebra and quagga mussel.

Keywords

Dispersal Distribution Dominance shift Dreissenapolymorpha Dreissenarostriformis bugensis Invasiveness Species displacement 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper has been presented by RSEW Leuven at the 18th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS) in Niagra Falls (Canada), April 21–25, 2013. The authors would like to acknowledge the Schure-Beijerinck-Popping Fund (SBP2012/54) and the Invasive Alien Species Team (TIE) of The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, Ministry of Economy, Agriculture and Innovation (TRCPD/2010/3092) for their financial support. We would also like to thank Jeroen Driessen, Yen Le and Saskia Smits for their assistance with field work and data acquisition, and two anonymous reviewers and associate editor Jamie Dick who gave valuable advice resulting in improvements to the article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Matthews
    • 1
  • G. Van der Velde
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. Bij de Vaate
    • 4
  • F. P. L. Collas
    • 1
  • K. R. Koopman
    • 1
  • R. S. E. W. Leuven
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science, Institute for Water and Wetland ResearchRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Animal Ecology and Ecophysiology, Institute for Water and Wetland ResearchRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Naturalis Biodiversity CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Waterfauna Hydrobiologisch AdviesbureauLelystadThe Netherlands

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