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Using Zebra Mussels to Monitor Escherichia coli in Environmental Waters

Use of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) as an indicator of   previously elevated bacteria concentrations in a watershed was   examined. The ability of the zebra mussel to accumulate and purge   Escherichia coli over several days was investigated in both   laboratory and field experiments. In laboratory experiments,   periodic enumeration of E. coli in mussels that had been exposed to   a dilute solution of raw sewage demonstrated that (i) maximum   concentrations of E. coli are reached within a few hours of exposure   to sewage, (ii) the tissue concentration attained is higher than the   concentration in the ambient water, and (iii) the E. coli   concentrations take several days to return to preexposure   concentrations when mussels are subsequently placed in sterile   water. In field experiments conducted in southeast Michigan in the   Clinton River watershed, brief increases in E. coli concentrations   in the water were accompanied by increases in mussel concentrations   of E. coli that lasted 2 or 3 days. The ability of mussels to retain   and to concentrate E. coli made it possible to detect E. coli in the   environment under conditions that conventional monitoring may often   miss. Sampling caged mussels in a river and its tributaries may   enable watershed managers to reduce the sampling frequency normally   required to identify critical E. coli sources, thereby providing a   more cost-effective river monitoring strategy for bacterial   contamination.     (zebra mussels); (Dreissena polymorpha); (AIS); (aquatic invasive   species); (ANS); (aquatic nuisance species); (E. coli); (Escherichia   coli); (Lake St. Clair)

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Researchers
Jeffrey RamPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 3 projects
Agencies

Funding 1 projects for a total of $0.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Impact of Pollutants
Exotic Species
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake St. Clair
State Province
Michigan
Resource Being Monitored
Emission / Release / Discharge / Waste Management
Human Health
Biology And Life History
Parasites and Diseases
Control And Mitigation
Habitat Manipulation
Annex Numbers
Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
Research & Development
Surveillance and Monitoring
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
Mass transfer of pollutants between GL Basin Ecosystem components
General
Annex
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
    Research & Development
    Surveillance and Monitoring
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
    Mass transfer of pollutants between GL Basin Ecosystem components

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