Impact of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha invasion on the budget of suspended material in a shallow lagoon ecosystem
Daunys, D.; Zemlys, P.; Olenin, S.; Zaiko, A.; Ferrarin, C. (2006). Impact of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha invasion on the budget of suspended material in a shallow lagoon ecosystem. Helgol. Mar. Res. 60(2): 113-120
The role of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha in redistribution of total particulate material (TPM) between the water column and bottom sediment was estimated using the TPM budget for a mussel bed in the Curonian lagoon, the Baltic Sea. Seasonal clearance rates were derived from the TPM budget assuming two resuspension scenarios: no resuspension and full resuspension of biodeposits. Estimated clearance rates for both scenarios were compared with the rates calculated from the population clearance rate model. Seasonal clearance rates estimated using the population model (1.1 and 11.8 l g−1 SFDW day−1) fitted well into the interval of seasonal clearance rates calculated from TPM budgets assuming no resuspension of biodeposits (3.2 and 21.4 l g SFDW−1 day−1). In the scenario with biodeposits resuspension clearance rates were much higher (57.4 and 148.9 g SFDW−1 day−1). The ratio of clearance to residence time was highly dependent on the fate of biodeposits. Therefore its use in interpretation of the species impact on TPM was limited. An alternative measure based on the ratio of the amount of TPM biodeposited to TPM transported into the bed was used. It was found that zebra mussels are able to deposit between 10 and 30% of the incoming TPM, and the amount of biodeposited material was correlated with water residence time. Results indicate that the impact of zebra mussels on TPM in the lagoon is small relative to the high transport rates of TPM over the bed. However, annual biosedimentation rate (~590 g m−2) in the mussel bed was higher than physical deposition rate (~380 g m−2) in accumulation areas devoid of large suspension feeders. We suggest that a local impact due to enhanced availability of organic material to other trophic groups of associated benthic organisms may be more significant than effects on TPM pathways at an ecosystem scale.