Adult zebra mussels [Dreissena polymorpha] avoid attachment to mesh materials

A. E. Porter, J. Ellen Marsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dreissena polymorpha (Zebra Mussel) is capable of attachment to a wide range of natural and man-made materials, but individuals tend to attach to hard, solid substrates. The effects of mesh substrates on Zebra Mussel attachment has not been studied. This study examined the attachment of adult Zebra Mussels to mesh substrates. Zebra Mussels 5 mm shell length were placed on trays constructed of mesh of different hole size and material, and a hard substrate (PVC) control. Their attachment choice was recorded after a 14-d period. The results indicated that Zebra Mussels do not tend to attach directly to mesh, and instead will move towards the closest hard substrate, usually another mussel. There was no significant difference between numbers of mussels attached to different mesh material types and mesh pore sizes. This study furthers our understanding of Zebra Mussel attachment and their preferences when attaching to substrata and has implications for fisheries biologists, aquarists, and others who use nets, mesh, or screens in fresh water
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-594
Number of pages6
JournalNortheastern Naturalist
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • INHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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