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Toxicity of potassium chloride to veliger and byssal stage dreissenid mussels related to water quality

September 1, 2016

Natural resource managers are seeking appropriate chemical eradication and control protocols for infestations of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1769), and quagga mussels. D. rostiformis bugensis (Andrusov, 1897) that have limited effect on non-target species. Applications of low concentrations of potassium salt (as potash) have shown promise for use where the infestation and treatment can be contained or isolated. To further our understanding of such applications and obtain data that could support a pesticide registration, we conducted studies of the acute and chronic toxicity of potassium chloride to dreissenid mussels in four different water sources from infested and non-infested locations (ground water from northern Idaho, surface water from the Snake River, Idaho, USA, surface water from Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada, and surface water from the Colorado River, Arizona, USA). We found short term exposure of veligers (< 24 h) to concentrations of 960 mg/L KCl produced rapid mortality in water from three locations, but veligers tested in Colorado River water were resistant. We used probit models to compare the mortality responses, predicted median lethal times and 95% confidence intervals. In separate experiments, we explored the sensitivity of byssal stage mussels in chronic exposures (>29 d) at concentrations of 100 and 200 mg/L KCl. Rapid mortality occurred within 10 d of exposure to concentrations of 200 mg/L KCl, regardless of water source. Kaplan-Meier estimates of mean survival of byssal mussels in 100 mg/L KCl prepared in surface water from Idaho and Lake Ontario were 4.9 or 6.9 d, respectively; however, mean survival of mussels tested in the Colorado River water was > 23 d. The sodium content of the Colorado River water was nearly three times that measured in waters from the other locations, and we hypothesized sodium concentrations may affect mussel survival. To test our hypothesis, we supplemented Snake River and Lake Ontario water with NaCl to equivalent conductivity as the Colorado River, and found mussel survival increased to levels observed in tests of veliger and byssal mussels in Colorado River water. We recommend KCl disinfection and eradication protocols must be developed to carefully consider the water quality characteristics of treatment locations.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Toxicity of potassium chloride to veliger and byssal stage dreissenid mussels related to water quality
DOI 10.3391/mbi.2016.7.3.05
Authors Christine M. Moffitt, Kelly A. Stockton-Fiti, Renata Claudi
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Management of Biological Invasions
Series Number
Index ID 70192761
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle

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