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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Diversity, Distribution, and Habitat Associations of Non-native Mollusks in the Chicago Region

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AUTHORS: Jenny Par, Loyola University of Chicago; Erin O’Shaughnessey; Loyola University of Chicago; Dr. Reuben Keller, Loyola University of Chicago

ABSTRACT: Non-native invasive species are one of the largest threats to the structure and function of Midwestern freshwater ecosystems. Invasive mollusks have proven particularly damaging with impacts that include displacement of native species, altered food webs, modified ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling and sedimentation, reduced recreational opportunities, and enormous costs to infrastructure and utilities. Future invasions have the potential to cause similar impacts, and a major management goal is to prevent the arrival of new non-native mollusk species. Despite this goal, there is little co-ordinated sampling taking place to identify any new arrivals. Such sampling could be particularly valuable in highly populated areas where new species are most likely to be released, and on the southern margins of the Great Lakes where warming conditions may create viable habitat for species that have previously been excluded. To address this, we have sampled intensively across a range of freshwater habitats in the Chicago region to develop a database of non-native mollusk occurrences. Sampling was conducted during summers 2015, 2016, and 2017 with Hester-Dendy, Ponar, and scraping samplers. A total of 31 sites have been sampled, many multiple times, spanning offshore and shoreline Lake Michigan habitat, Lake Michigan harbors, inland lakes, and throughout the Chicago Area Waterway System. The dominant non-native mollusks found are Dreissenids, with quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformus bugennsis) occurring at 24 sites and zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) at 14 sites. The only other non-native mollusk identified to date is the faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata), located at six sites. Identification is ongoing and additional results will be presented. All results, along with habitat variables from sampling locations, are being analyzed to determine which habitats are most vulnerable to invasion. These results will aid in future efforts to sample for non-native species.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (5)