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    Description

    The invasive zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has quickly colonized shallow-water habitats in the North American Great Lakes since the 1980s but the quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis) is becoming dominant in both shallow and deep-water habitats. While quagga mussel shell morphology differs between shallow and deep habitats, functional causes and consequences of such difference are unknown. We examined whether quagga mussel shell morphology could be induced by three environmental variables through developmental plasticity. We predicted that shallow-water conditions (high temperature, food quantity, water motion) would yield a morphotype typical of wild quagga mussels from shallow habitats, while deep-water conditions (low temperature, food quantity, water motion) would yield a morphotype present in deep habitats. We tested this prediction by examining shell morphology and growth rate of quagga mussels collected from shallow and deep habitats and reared under common-garden treatments that manipulated the three variables. Shell morphology was quantified using the polar moment of inertia. Of the variables tested, temperature had the greatest effect on shell morphology. Higher temperature (~18–20°C) yielded a morphotype typical of wild shallow mussels regardless of the levels of food quantity or water motion. In contrast, lower temperature (~6–8°C) yielded a morphotype approaching that of wild deep mussels. If shell morphology has functional consequences in particular habitats, a plastic response might confer quagga mussels with a greater ability than zebra mussels to colonize a wider range of habitats within the Great Lakes.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Peyer, Suzanne M.; Hermanson, John C.; Lee, Carol Eunmi. 2010. Developmental plasticity of shell morphology of quagga mussels from shallow and deep-water habitats of the Great Lakes. Journal of experimental biology. Vol. 213, no. 15 (Aug. 2010): p. 2602-2609.

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    Keywords

    Invertebrate pests, pest development, food supply, aquatic pests, fouling organisms, mussels, freshwater mussels, freshwater pests, bivalves, mollusks, quagga mussel, biological invasions, nonindigenous pests, introduced organisms, pest introduction, shells, morphology, freshwater invertebrates, water temperature, phenotypic plasticity, calcification, Dreissena bugensis, invasive species, functional morphology, Great Lakes, moment of inertia, phenotypic plasticity

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/37749