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Biometry, shell resistance and attachment of zebra and quagga mussels at the beginning of their co-existence in large European lakes

Balogh, Csilla, Serfőző, Zoltán, bij de Vaate, Abraham, Noordhuis, Ruurd, Kobak, Jarosław
Journal of Great Lakes research 2019 v.45 no.4 pp. 777-787
Dreissena bugensis, Dreissena polymorpha, allometry, biometry, body length, body weight, crushing, environmental factors, glycogen, hardness, lakes, tissues, zebras, Hungary, Netherlands
In invasive dreissenid communities, the zebra mussel usually appears earlier and then is displaced by the quagga mussel. We analysed length-weight allometric relationships, attachment strength (2 days, 1 week and 1 month of exposure), shell crushing resistance and glycogen content across the entire size range of both species in large shallow European lakes where this displacement has recently occurred. In Lake Balaton (Hungary) and Ijsselmeer (The Netherlands), the soft tissue dry weight increment of zebra mussels per unit length decreased after the quagga mussel invasion and became lower than that of quagga mussels. In Lake Markermeer (the Netherlands), having relatively worse environmental conditions, dry weight increment per unit length was always higher in quagga mussels than in zebra mussels, but no negative change in dry weight increment occurred in zebra mussels during the quagga mussel invasion. Small zebra mussels had more resistant shells and stronger attachment than quagga mussels. These differences were reduced (shell hardness) or reversed (long-term attachment) in larger individuals. Zebra mussels had lower glycogen content than quagga mussels across the entire size range. Thus, the quagga mussel advantage over zebra mussel likely consists in the faster dry weight increment per unit length and higher storage product contents of the former, due to its lower investments in attachment strength and shell crushing resistance.