INSTITUTO DE LIMNOLOGIA "DR. RAUL A. RINGUELET"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Significant ecosystem-wide effects of the swiftly spreading invasive freshwater bivalve Limnoperna fortunei
BOLTOVSKOY, D.; KARATAYEV, A; BURLAKOVA, L; CATALDO, D; KARATAYEV, V.; SYLVESTER, F.; MARIÑELARENA, A.
Año: 2009 vol. 636 p. 271 - 271
Since its introduction in South America around 1990, the freshwater Asian mussel Limnopernafortunei has been shown to strongly interact with several components of the local biota. However investigation of its ecosystem-wide effectswas hindered by (1) difficulties associated with evaluation of its densities over large spatial scales and (2) scarcity of preinvasion environmental data. The present survey overcomes these shortcomings and addresses the question whether Limnopernas impact on the ecosystem-wide scale ismeasurable and significant.On the basis of divercollected bottom samples, we estimated the overall density of this mussel in a reservoir (Embalse de Rıo Tercero, Argentina), where Limnoperna is present since 1998 and analyzed changes in several water-column properties before and after the invasion. The 47 km2 reservoir hosts around 45 billion mussels; at these densities, a volume equivalent to that of this water bodycan potentially be filtered by the bivalves every 2 3 days. Data collected regularly since 1996 indicate that after the invasion water transparency increased, and suspended matter, chlorophyll a, and primary production decreased significantly, with strong changes occurring in the areawith highestmussel densities.Our results indicate that the ecosystem-wide impacts of Limnopernaare generally comparable to those described in Europe and North America for another invasive mussel Dreissena polymorpha. However, given Limnopernas wider tolerance limits, its influence on newly invaded water bodies, potentially including Europe and North America, will probably be stronger.