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Monday, December 13, 2010

900 Trillion Strong!

Looks like the zebra mussels have ushered in their relatives, in this case their cousins the quagga mussels.  A little bigger in size than zebra mussels, the quagga mussels, like zebras, are very efficient filter feeders and are are hitting the Great Lakes plankton population pretty hard. 

There's kind of a backward silver lining to this cloud of invasive bivalves.  There are so many of them in some lakes that they are starting to starve off their own offspring.  The glitch with this is that they trashed other animal populations first; I said it was a backward silver lining. 

Another wacky in a way thing is if the Asian carp that are threatening the Great Lakes break down the door, they probably wouldn't survive because there wouldn't be anything left for them to eat. Not quite sure how that falls into being a good thing, but it's a good illustration of the mess we get in with invasive species.  It's a losing proposition for even the invasive species.

More needs to be done to keep these plants and animals from our woods and waters.  Whenever one shows up it becomes chaos for everything else and causes billions of dollars in damage.  Visit Protect Your Waters and learn how to join the fight.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ecologist recently estimated that there are more than 900 trillion invasive mussels in Lake Michigan alone.  Maybe we should increase linguine production and put these mussels to better use.