Strangers among indigenous - alien species of mussels in Poland
Presenta: Maria Urbańska
Institute of Zoology,Poznań University of Life Sciences
Freshwater mussels are among the most threatened groups of organisms in the world, mainly due to habitat modifications and exotic species invasion. The best known examples of strangers among native species are Dreissena polymorpha, Corbicula fluminea and Sinanodonta woodiana.
Firstly recorded in Polish artificial heated waterbodies, as can be expected for a warm water species, the Chinese pond mussel Sinanodonta woodiana (Lea 1838) started colonizing waterbodies with natural thermal conditions since at least 1992. Since then it has spread to more than 30 sites in Poland, suggesting that it could become common quite shortly because it accommodates to national conditions very easily. This situation may result in changing the population state of native species and the habitat transformations as mussels play a key role in the formation and functioning of aquatic biocenoses.
To characterize its life conditions in the invaded area studies were performed on morphological characteristics, reproduction, habitat preferences, density and distribution, genetic variability, natural enemies, parasites and symbionts. Current knowledge about Polish populations will be shown, as well as cross-country survey's statistical results concerning habitat preferences, morphometrical features and growing rate.
The knowledge of Sinanodonta woodiana spread, biology and habitat characteristics determining its occurrence should be a key task to enable prediction of its impact and to find ways to limit its spread.
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