Habitat engineering by the invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas) in a boreal coastal lagoon: impact on biodiversity
Zaiko, A.; Daunys, D.; Olenin, S. (2009). Habitat engineering by the invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas) in a boreal coastal lagoon: impact on biodiversity. Helgol. Mar. Res. 63(1): 85-94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10152-008-0135-6
Habitat engineering role of the invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas) was studied in the Curonian lagoon, a shallow water body in the SE Baltic. Impacts of live zebra mussel clumps and its shell deposits on benthic biodiversity were differentiated and referred to unmodified (bare) sediments. Zebra mussel bed was distinguished from other habitat types by higher benthic invertebrate biomass, abundance, and species richness. The impact of live mussels on biodiversity was more pronounced than the effect of shell deposits. The structure of macrofaunal community in the habitats with >103 g/m2 of shell deposits devoid of live mussels was similar to that found within the zebra mussel bed. There was a continuous shift in species composition and abundance along the gradient ‘bare sediments—shell deposits—zebra mussel bed’. The engineering impact of zebra mussel on the benthic community became apparent both in individual patches and landscape-level analyses.