Effects of elevated water temperatures on the attachment of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) to unionids

Project Overview
Increases in surface water temperatures of inland lakes are expected to continue as climate change progresses, and these changes will have many impacts on aquatic communities. In addition to climate change, many aquatic ecosystems are also threatened by introduced species. It is important to understand how climate change may affect the nature of non-native species invasions in the future. Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were introduced to the Great Lakes region in the mid 1980's, and have negatively influenced many native species and altered the dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. One native group of organisms threatened by D. polymorpha biofouling and resource competition is unionid mussels – a group already heavily imperiled due to anthropogenic activities. The aim of this experiment is to understand the attachment of juvenile zebra mussels to a unionid, Lampsilis siliquoidea, and how this interaction will change as water temperatures increase.
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