Biopollution by the Green Mussel, Perna viridis, in the Southeastern United StatesEPA Grant Number: R828898
Title: Biopollution by the Green Mussel, Perna viridis, in the Southeastern United States
Investigators: Baker, Shirley M. , Benson, Amy , Marelli, Dan , Phlips, Edward , Williams, James , Nunez, Jose , Baker, Patrick
Current Investigators: Baker, Shirley M. , Benson, Amy , Phlips, Edward , Williams, James , Nunez, Jose , Baker, Patrick
Institution: University of Florida , Florida Marine Research Institute , United States Geological Survey [USGS] , Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Current Institution: University of Florida , United States Geological Survey [USGS]
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: June 1, 2001 through May 31, 2004 (Extended to September 30, 2004)
Project Amount: $447,602
RFA: Exploratory Research to Anticipate Future Environmental Issues (2000) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Water , Aquatic Ecosystems
Bivalve mollusks have provided some striking examples of biological pollution, ranging from apparently innocuous to clearly harmful. In many cases, exotic bivalves have clearly been ecological pollutants, in the sense that they provide new environmental stressors to native ecosystems, or harm native species or human concerns.
1. To assess the potential for the future dispersal of a new biological pollutant, the green mussel Perna viridis, within and from Tampa Bay, Florida. 2. To assess and predict environmental impacts by green mussels on fouling communities, including artificial substrata, and upon native species at risk of displacement. 3. To assess and predict environmental impacts by green mussels on phytoplankton communities.
Six tasks will be conducted as follows: A. Environmental tolerances of green mussels will be quantified in the lab to determine potential U.S. range limits. B. Life history parameters (reproduction, recruitment, growth, mortality) will be quantified and compared with native species to predict population growth. C. Habitats and industrial structures used by green mussels will be surveyed. D. Impacts of green mussels on epifaunal communities will be experimentally inferred. E. Phytoplankton potentially affected by large populations of green mussels will be surveyed, monitored, and cultured for the following task: F. Feeding upon native phytoplankton by green mussels will be quantified and compared to native species.
As the first study of green mussels as a biopollutant in the U.S., this project will identify areas of concern and future research needs regarding this and similar species. Specific predictions will be made concerning the spread and severity of green mussel infestations, and environmental impacts upon epifaunal and planktonic ecosystems, in a form usable to resource and industry managers.