Native species flex their mussels in battle against zebra invasion

By Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen, March 23, 2018

There’s good news for lakes and rivers despite the wave of zebra mussels across Eastern Ontario: Native mussels that are an important part of our fresh waters are fighting back.

In some cases, they smother their attackers to death while surviving themselves. But their ability to do this depends on having the right conditions — specifically, the right kind of sediment.

“There is some clear evidence along the Rideau River of refugia for native freshwater mussels against zebra mussels, and this is a really neat story,” scientist André Martel said in an email to this newspaper Friday. (Refugia is the scientific term for a place where species survive hard times.)

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