Quagga and zebra mussels are a huge and continually growing problem in freshwater lakes and waterways. Since their introduction to the U.S. in the 1980s, the National Wildlife Foundation notes the mussels have spread to 29 states.
These small mussels have a big effect on the overall aquatic ecosystem. They feed on types of plankton, which are traditionally eaten by smaller aquatic life. As their food source dwindles, it sends waves up the food chain.
Agencies and organizations have struggled to find a treatment for these mussels that doesn’t also impact other aquatic life. A new study shows an emerging solution – superoxide.
Superoxide is a type of oxygen that can’t be processed by quagga and zebra mussels because they don’t produce high enough levels of manganese-type superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD). Mn-SOD is a compound that most other living organisms naturally create that allows them to process superoxide.
The study tested the impact of superoxide on quagga mussels, and found:
The study was performed over 17 days at Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery in Arizona, with superoxide created by the KRIA Ionizer with EcoSOAR technology. Click here for the full press release and findings.