Biological Invasions

, Volume 15, Issue 12, pp 2681–2690 | Cite as

Filtration activity of invasive mussel species under wave disturbance conditions

  • Stefan LorenzEmail author
  • Martin T. Pusch
Original Paper


Self-purification is one of the most important ecosystem functions of rivers. Multiple human activities regularly impact this ecosystem service, consequently altering river morphology, hydrology, and the composition of biotic assemblages that contribute to self-purification. However, little quantitative information is available about the importance of such impacts. Hence, we tested how invasive mussel species contribute to self-purification under disturbed riverine conditions. In laboratory experiments, invasive mussel species equipped with magnetic sensors that recorded filtration activity were exposed to artificial waves of varying intensity that simulated the hydraulic effects of inland navigation. Our results suggest that invasive mussel species are more resistant to wave disturbance compared to native species, as estimated threshold values for initiating shell closure are very high (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) or the duration (Corbicula fluminea) and degree of shell closing (D. rostriformis bugensis, C. fluminea) very low. Also we demonstrated that the invasive species D. rostriformis bugensis and C. fluminea continued filtering during wave impact, whereas Dreissena polymorpha did not behave significantly differently than previously studied native mussel species, based on the studied susceptibility parameters. Thus, D. rostriformis bugensis and C. fluminea appear to be pre-adapted to hydraulic or morphological disturbance, and may compensate against other losses regarding this important ecosystem function in rivers that are intensively used for inland navigation. However, as the dominance of invasive species in river systems may disrupt natural food webs, this compensation of filter-feeding activity may be accompanied by the loss of other ecosystem functions.


Benthic invertebrates Ecosystem functioning Hydraulic disturbance Navigation Recreational boating Self-purification 



We thank Helge Norf and Katharina Heiler for providing specimens of C. fluminea and D. rostriformis bugensis. We thank Reinhard Hölzel, Thomas Hintze, and Nora Dobra for technical support with the experiments, and Angela Hayes for data processing. We thank Thomas Mehner and the participants of the workshop ‘Scientific Writing’ at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries for helpful discussions on an earlier stage of this manuscript. Financial support was provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, FKZ 01LR0803G) through the project INKA BB.


  1. Aldridge DC, Elliott P, Moggridge GD (2004) The recent and rapid spread of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in Great Britain. Biol Conserv 119:253–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alford RA, Brown GP, Schwarzkopf L, Phillips BL, Shine R (2009) Comparisons through time and space suggest rapid evolution of dispersal behaviour in an invasive species. Wildl Res 36:23–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Atkinson CL, First MR, Covich AP, Opsahl SP, Golladay SW (2011) Suspended material availability and filtration-biodeposition processes performed by a native and invasive bivalve species in streams. Hydrobiologia 667:191–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bij de Vaate A, Jazdzewski K, Ketelaars HAM, Gollasch S, van der Velde G (2002) Geographical patterns in range extension of Ponto-Caspian macroinvertebrate species in Europe. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 59:1159–1174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Binimelis R, Born W, Monterroso I, Rodríguez-Labajos B (2007) Socio-economic impact and assessment of biological invasions. In: Nentwig W (ed) Biological invasions. Springer, Berlin, pp 331–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bishop MJ, Chapman MG (2004) Managerial decisions as experiments: an opportunity to determine the ecological impact of boat-generated waves on macrobenthic infauna. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 61:613–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Byers JE (2002) Impact of non-indigenous species on natives enhanced by anthropogenic alteration of selection regimes. Oikos 97:449–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Central Intelligence Agency (2011) The World Factbook—country comparison: waterways. Central Intelligence Agency, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  9. Chapin FS, Zavaleta ES, Eviner VT, Naylor RL, Vitousek PM, Reynolds HL, Hooper DU, Lavorel S, Sala OE, Hobbie SE, Mack MC, Diaz S (2000) Consequences of changing biodiversity. Nature 405:234–242PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Charles H, Dukes JS (2007) Impacts of invasive species on ecosystem services. In: Nentwig W (ed) Biological invasions. Springer, Berlin, pp 217–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Correa C, Gross MR (2008) Chinook salmon invade southern South America. Biol Invasions 10:615–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Costanza R, d’Arge R, de Groot R, Farber S, Grasso M, Hannon B, Limburg K, Naeem S, O’Neill RV, Paruelo J, Raskin RG, Sutton P, van den Belt M (1997) The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387:253–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Darrigran G (2002) Potential impact of filter-feeding invaders on temperate inland freshwater environments. Biol Invasions 4:145–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Devin S, Beisel J-N (2007) Biological and ecological characteristics of invasive species: a gammarid study. Biol Invasions 9:13–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Everard M, Powell A (2002) Rivers as living systems. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 12:329–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2008) Inland aquatic biodiversity. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, RomeGoogle Scholar
  17. Gabel F, Garcia XF, Brauns M, Sukhodolov A, Leszinski M, Pusch MT (2008) Resistance to ship-induced waves of benthic invertebrates in various littoral habitats. Freshw Biol 53:1567–1578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gabel F, Pusch MT, Breyer P, Burmester V, Walz N, Garcia XF (2011a) Differential effect of wave stress on the physiology and behaviour of native versus non-native benthic invertebrates. Biol Invasions 13:1843–1853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gabel F, Stoll S, Fischer P, Pusch MT, Garcia XF (2011b) Waves affect predator-prey interactions between fish and benthic invertebrates. Oecologia 165:101–109PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Henery ML, Bowman G, Mráz P, Treier UA, Gex-Fabry E, Schaffner U, Müller-Schärer H (2010) Evidence for a combination of pre-adapted traits and rapid adaptive change in the invasive plant Centaurea stoebe. J Ecol 98:800–813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hopkins AE (1933) Experiments on the feeding behavior of the oyster, Ostrea gigas. J Exp Zool 64:469–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Howard JK, Cuffey KM (2006) The functional role of native freshwater mussels in the fluvial benthic environment. Freshw Biol 51:460–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnson LE, Carlton JT (1996) Post-establishment spread in large-scale invasions: dispersal mechanisms of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha. Ecology 77:1686–1690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Johnson LE, Padilla DK (1996) Geographic spread of exotic species: ecological lessons and opportunities from the invasion of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha. Biol Conserv 78:23–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kareiva P, Watts S, McDonald R, Boucher T (2007) Domesticated nature: shaping landscapes and ecosystems for human welfare. Science 316:1866–1869PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Leff LG, Burch JL, McArthur JV (1990) Spatial-distribution, seston removal, and potential competitive interactions of the bivalves Corbicula fluminea and Elliptio complanata, in a coastal-plain stream. Freshw Biol 24:409–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Leuven R, van der Velde G, Baijens I, Snijders J, van der Zwart C, Lenders HJR, de Vaate AB (2009) The river Rhine: a global highway for dispersal of aquatic invasive species. Biol Invasions 11:1989–2008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lorenz S, Pusch MT (2012) Estimating the recreational carrying capacity of a lowland river section. Water Sci Technol 66:2033–2039PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lorenz S, Gabel F, Dobra N, Pusch MT (2013) Modelling the impacts of recreational boating on self-purification activity provided by bivalve mollusks in a lowland river. Freshw Sci 32:82–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McMahon RF (1999) Invasive characteristics of the freshwater bivalve Corbicula fluminea. In: Claudi R, Leach JH (eds) Nonindigenous freshwater organisms: vectors, biology, and impacts. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 315–343Google Scholar
  31. Mills EL, Leach JH, Carlton JT, Secor CL (1993) Exotic species in the Great Lakes—a history of biotic crises and anthropogenic introductions. J Great Lakes Res 19:1–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Minchin D, Lucy F, Sullivan M (2002) Zebra mussel: impacts and spread. In: Olenin S (ed) Invasive aquatic species of Europe—distribution, impact and management. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 135–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moore PG (1977) Inorganic particulate suspensions in the sea and their effects on marine animals. Oceanogr Mar Biol Annu Rev 15:225–363Google Scholar
  34. Motulsky H (1998) Comparing dose-response or kinetic curves with GraphPad Prism. HMS Beagle: The BioMedNet Mag 34:1–13Google Scholar
  35. Payne BS, Miller AC, Shaffer LR (1999) Physiological resilience of freshwater mussels to turbulence and suspended solids. J Freshw Ecol 14:265–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pimentel D (2005) Aquatic nuisance species in the New York State Canal and Hudson River system and the Great Lakes Basin: an economic and environmental assessment. Environ Manag 35:692–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pusch M, Hoffmann A (2000) Conservation concept for a river ecosystem (River Spree, Germany) impacted by flow abstraction in a large post-mining area. Landsc Urban Plan 51:165–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pusch M, Siefert J, Walz N (2001) Filtration and respiration rates of two unionid species and their impact on the water quality of a lowland river. In: Bauer G, Wächtler K (eds) Ecology and evolutionary biology of the freshwater mussels Unionoida. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 317–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pusch M, Andersen HE, Bäthe J et al (2009) Rivers of the central highlands and plains. In: Tockner K, Uehlinger U, Robinson CT (eds) Rivers of Europe. Elsevier, London, pp 525–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rahel FJ, Olden JD (2008) Assessing the effects of climate change on aquatic invasive species. Conserv Biol 22:521–533PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Reid RGB, McMahon RF, Foighil DO, Finnigan R (1992) Anterior inhalant currents and pedal feeding in bivalves. Veliger 35:93–104Google Scholar
  42. Ricciardi A, Rasmussen JB (1998) Predicting the identity and impact of future biological invaders: a priority for aquatic resource management. National Research Council of Canada, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  43. Riisgard HU, Egede PP, Barreiro Saavedra I (2011) Feeding behaviour of the mussel, Mytilus edulis: new observations, with a minireview of current knowledge. J Mar Biol. Article ID 312459Google Scholar
  44. Salanki J, Lukacsovics F, Hiripi L (1974) The effect of temperature variations on the rhythmic and periodic activity of the freshwater mussel (Anodonta cygnea L.). Annal Inst Biol Tihany 41:69–79Google Scholar
  45. Sol D (2007) Do successful invaders exist? Pre-adaptations to novel environments in terrestrial vertebrates. In: Nentwig W (ed) Biological invasions. Springer, Berlin, pp 127–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Soulsby R (1997) Dynamics of marine sands. Thomas Telford Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
  47. Strayer DL, Smith LC (1996) Relationships between zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and unionid clams during the early stages of the zebra mussel invasion of the Hudson River. Freshw Biol 36:771–779Google Scholar
  48. Tockner K, Pusch M, Borchardt D, Lorang MS (2010) Multiple stressors in coupled river-floodplain ecosystems. Freshw Biol 55:135–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tockner K, Gessner J, Pusch MT, Wolter C (2011) Domesticated ecosystems and novel biotic communities: challenges for water management. Ecohydrol Hydrobiol 11:167–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Weitere M, Dahlmann J, Viergutz C, Arndt H (2008) Differential grazer-mediated effects of high summer temperatures on pico- and nanoplankton communities. Limnol Oceanogr 53:477–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Welker M, Walz N (1998) Can mussels control the plankton in rivers?—A planktological approach applying a Lagrangian sampling strategy. Limnol Oceanogr 43:753–762CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Widdows J, Fieth P, Worrall CM (1979) Relationships between seston, available food and feeding-activity in the common mussel Mytilus edulis. Mar Biol 50:195–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zhulidov A, Kozhara A, Scherbina G, Nalepa T, Protasov A, Afanasiev S, Pryanichnikova E, Zhulidov D, Gurtovaya T, Pavlov D (2010) Invasion history, distribution, and relative abundances of Dreissena bugensis in the old world: a synthesis of data. Biol Invasions 12:1923–1940CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institute of BiologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations