A bioenergetics model of zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, growth in the Great Lakes

D. W. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given food availability and water temperature the model can predict growth and consumption of zebra mussels in diverse environments. The model was tested with data from Lake Constance and matches observed growth fairly closely. Using the functional response of zebra mussels to increasing food concentration, the model simulates individual zebra mussel growth in novel habitats. For the Great Lakes, the following predictions were made: zebra mussels have bimodal growth patterns, with rapid growth in the spring and fall during periods of high food availability and moderate temperatures; growth rates are highest in Lake Ontario and lowest in Lake Superior, reflecting the trophic gradient in the Great Lakes; based on published weight/fecundity relationships, zebra mussels reach reproductive size in all of the Great Lakes except the main body of Lake Superior; and local eutrophication (eg Duluth/Superior Harbor) increases zebra mussel growth rates. Modelled consumption rates in Lakes Erie and Ontario are also consistent with rates of consumption by the zebra mussel in eutrophic and mesotrophic European lakes. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1406-1416
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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