“Asian Carp” Invasion May Be Thwarted by Invasive European Mussels

According to the Associated Press, scientists have found that the Great Lakes may not be able to support a feared i nvasion of bighead or silver carp , because invasive Ukrainian quagga mussels are already eating all the plankton there.

Mussels have “beaten the Asian carp to the buffet table,” said Gary Fahnenstiel, senior ecologist with NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. “While the public has been worried about Asian carp and the Chicago canal,  another invader has fundamentally changed the lake and made it inhospitable to the Asian carp.”

Quagga mussels are closely related to a fellow invader, the zebra mussel. Even so, people concerned about ecological threats discuss the species by their individual names, rather than lumping them together as “European mussels,” the way the carp are popularly referred to as “Asian carp.”