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Ice Breaker Speaker Series Event
Thursday, March 10
Mussels in Michigan: Native and Invasive
Presented by: Joe Rathbun, Department of Environmental Quality and Ashley Baldridge PhD.,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab
Michigan is home to 45 species of native mussels. Native mussels are “ecosystem engineers” that improve water quality via water filtration, increase sediment stability, increase biomass and diversity of fish, macroinvertebrates and periphyton, and sequester carbon. Twenty-eight species are listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern, due to a variety of factors including zebra mussels, stream channelization, water quality, and dams. Joe Rathbun will discuss these fascinating creatures, the threats they face, and on-going steps to conserve them.
Ashley Baldridge from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab will explain why dreissenid mussels (invasive zebra and quagga mussels) are such successful invaders, present some current population trends for the Great Lakes, and describe their ecological and economic impacts. Though each invasive mussel is small in size, they have had a tremendous collective impact on native mussels, phytoplankton, and even human health.
No charge to attend. Limited seating available. To register, please call Sandy at (231) 347-1181.