The Zebra Mussels

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Invasive species are “species that is non-native to the ecosystem whose introduction is likely to cause economic and environmental harm”. A example of Invasive species would be the Zebra Mussel. Zebra Mussels or also known as Dreissena polymorpha is a small freshwater mussel. The Zebra Mussels can live up to three-nine years which can grow up to 2 inches. These mussels attach to hard surfaces such as rocks or boats. They were first introduced to the Great lakes in 1988 but were originally from Russian and Ukraine lakes. The Zebra Mussels were first found in Lake St. Claire (one of the 5 great lakes) which within one year they rapidly spread to almost all of the Great Lakes except Lake Superior. This is because Lake Superior is not the ideal…show more content…
They can consume up to one liter per day, some of the particles that are consumed are used for food but they mainly eat plankton. The other particles are combined with mucus,other matters which are deposited on the floor of the lake since they are useless to the Zebra Mussels. In this research we will be talking about how the Zebra Mussels Impacted the Great Lakes, and what the effects were and if they were positive or a negative effect.

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Invasive species has always been documented to have negative harm to the environment but Zebra Mussels are invasive species that have a negative harm and also a positive effect to the environment. First we will be talking about the negative effect. According to USGS (The United States Geological Survey) ever since the Introduction of Zebra Mussels to the Great lakes,” Large populations of zebra mussels in the Great Lakes reduced the biomass of phytoplankton significantly following invasion. And the Diatom Abundance as decreased by 82-91 percent.” Zebra Mussels consume plankton as food which leaves Small fishes such as young sportfish without as much food. These small fishes depend on Plankton for growth and survival. The Zebra
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Eversince the invasion of Zebra mussels in 1988 the ecosystem of The Great Lakes suffered negative impacts from decrease of plankton to spending big numbers every year to try to remove them from the ecosystem. But little do people know they also help brought Lake erie (one of the 5 great lakes) back to life, during the 1970s Lake Erie was declared dead since massive amounts of pollution were dumped into the Lake from agriculture industry. The pollution caused the Lake to have less oxygen which caused some parts of the lakes to be a dead zone. Overall this can be concluded to have negative impact to the ecosystem of the Great Lakes, but there are some positive impacts too. The primary objective should be to remove the Zebra mussels from the great lakes even though the had positive impacts, the zebra mussels don’t belong in this ecosystem. This objective would take time, but if people work together this could happen faster. Small acts such as draining all water from your boats and bait wells could help stop the Zebra Mussels to spread fast. The future is in question for the little zebra mussel as they produce rapidly and outcompete native species in the lake but hopefully we can control them in the

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