The Byssal Structure of Dreissena polymorpha in Freshwater Habitats of the Midwest: a Reattachment Study
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Zebra mussels - Dreissena polymorpha are highly problematic to the waterways of the United States. This experiment determined whether regeneration of byssal structures in Dreissena polymorpha was possible and whether the capability to do so corresponds with age. Fifty mussels of various sizes were scraped from both rocky substrates and wood substrates. They were then set upon similar substrates in an aquarium setting, and were observed for reattachment and measured in size every other day for ten days. Results show that the zebra mussels have the ability to regenerate their byssus, and generally did so within the initial two days after severance. Age did not seem to be important for the mussels’ ability to reattach. It was also observed that the mussels were slower to reattach to rock compared to wood. The importance of this experiment is that it demonstrates the necessity to fully remove severed mussels from a body of water in order to effectively reduce their abundance.
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