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Invasive species: How Quagga mussels conquered German lakes

Invasive species: How Quagga mussels conquered German lakes

Science Arton Invasive

What makes Quagga clam so successful as a hacker

12/01/2021, Bavaria, Helpolstein: Mussel collector Christine holds a local oyster on the banks of the Rothsee in an arm holding a triangle mussel.  The three-sided invasive mussel takes other native species of mussels into its home lake.  In order to contain the population, the Office of Water Management lowers the lake's water level to six meters over several weeks each year.  Volunteers collect thousands of local mussels in order to introduce them to the depths of the lake in the supplied waters.  Otherwise, they will die in winter temperatures.  What's left are the smaller triple oysters - that's on purpose.  Photo: Daniel Karman / dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Need help: The original pond oyster that the triangle oyster is stuck in

Source: Daniel Karman / D

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Thanks to shipping and climate change, exotic flora and fauna abound in German waters. Quagga mussels are particularly successful. Scientists aren’t alone in wondering how they can still be stopped.

yEvery day more water runs out from the Rothsey. A sunken mirror brings full-shell rugs into daylight. Volunteers have been collecting thousands of local mussels for weeks in order to transport them to the depths of the lagoon in the supplied waters. Otherwise, they will die in winter temperatures. What’s left are the smaller triple oysters – that’s on purpose.

The oysters It causes major problems in the reservoir, about 30 kilometers south of Nuremberg. They are already spreading so aggressively to the bottom of the lake that other mussels have been taken from their habitat, explains Manuel Philip of Nuremberg’s Water Management Office. This is why the authority lowers the lake’s water level to six meters over several weeks each year. Two to three cold nights with enough freezing temperatures to contain residents.

Elsewhere, too, experts are anxiously watching large numbers of migratory triangle mussels. Above all, the quagga mussel, which belongs to the triple mussel family, has been spreading rapidly in Germany for several years. “Mussels are found wherever there is shipping,” says Franz Schul of the Federal Institute of Hydrology.

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Quagga mussels originally come from the mouth of the Black Sea and may have been brought by shipping. According to the Federal Environment Agency, it has now spread from Lake Constance to northern Germany.

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In some cases it even displaces its relative, the zebra mussel, which also belongs to the triple oyster. This was already at home in central Europe before the last Ice Age, and it’s been on the rise again for several decades thanks to shipping. “In general, the quagga mussels seem to be more competitive,” says Andreas Doppler of the Mussel Conservation Coordination Office at the Technical University of Munich. In the main Danube Canal, it took the role of the most common mussel species from its competitors a few years ago.

Dec 1, 2021, Bavaria, Helpolstein: Mussel University Kristen carries local mussels on the banks of the Rothsee River.  The three-sided invasive mussel takes other native species of mussels into its home lake.  In order to contain the population, the Office of Water Management lowers the lake's water level to six meters over several weeks each year.  Volunteers collect thousands of local mussels in order to introduce them to the depths of the lake in the supplied waters.  Otherwise, they will die in winter temperatures.  What's left are the smaller triple oysters - that's on purpose.  Photo: Daniel Karman / dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Triangular oyster on the surface of the largest local oyster

Source: Daniel Karman / D

Quagga mussels have also been circulating in Lake Constance since 2016 – and at a rapid pace. Three years after the first discovery, it has already conquered the whole of Lake Constance, according to Dominic Hahn of the Bund of Baden-Württemberg. He is concerned about the infestation of the triangle mussel. This could make these critically endangered local large mussels a food dispute. In addition, the larvae are able to penetrate into water supply systems, block pumps and cause serious technical problems.

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But there are also positive effects: “The number of wintering waterfowl has increased in Lake Constance,” says Hahn. Tufted ducks, buchards, and cottontails in particular love helping themselves to the mussel banks. According to Doppler, the spread of triangle mussels is difficult to stop. Because the larvae can stick to hard surfaces. “All it takes is to move a pleasure boat from one body of water to another Coincidence To prevent this, boats, surfboards and diving equipment should be disinfected regularly and dried for a long time. But, according to Doppler, this is a fiction, especially in the private sector. Even in Rothsee, lowering the water level only serves to reduce the population. Because with the waters from the main Danube Canal, the emergence of new triangle mussels continues.

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