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Mytilopsis leucophaeata: The brackish water equivalent of Dreissena polymorpha? A review
Verween, A.; Vincx, M.; Degraer, S. (2007). Mytilopsis leucophaeata: The brackish water equivalent of Dreissena polymorpha? A review, in: Verween, A. (2007). Biologische kennis als een instrument voor een ecologische verantwoorde biofouling beheersing: een case study van de invasieve mossel Mytilopsis leucophaeata in Europa = Biological knowledge as a tool for an ecologically sound biofouling control: a case study of the invasive bivalve Mytilopsis leucophaeata in Europe. pp. 30-56
In: Verween, A. (2007). Biologische kennis als een instrument voor een ecologische verantwoorde biofouling beheersing: een case study van de invasieve mossel Mytilopsis leucophaeata in Europa = Biological knowledge as a tool for an ecologically sound biofouling control: a case study of the invasive bivalve Mytilopsis leucophaeata in Europe. PhD Thesis. Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Wetenschappen: Gent. X, 202 pp., more

Also published as
  • Verween, A.; Vincx, M.; Degraer, S. (2010). Mytilopsis leucophaeata: The brackish water equivalent of Dreissena polymorpha? A review, in: van der Velde, G. et al. (Ed.) (2010). The Zebra mussel in Europe. pp. 29-43, more

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Keywords
    Ecology; Introduced species; Literature reviews; Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771) [WoRMS]; Mytilopsis leucophaeata (Conrad, 1831) [WoRMS]; Europe [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water

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Abstract
    European brackish waters have been invaded in recent times by the brackish water mussel, Mytilopsis leucophaeata. Although the genus Mytilopsis originated from Europe more than 60 million years ago, it disappeared from Europe after its expansion to Central America. In the early 19th century, M. leucophaeata invaded Europe with a first record in the harbour of Antwerp, Belgium, but it is only when the species became a biofouling problem in the 1990s that attention was brought back to this relatively unknown species. The systematic classification, evolution, ecology and biogeographical expansion of M. leucophaeata in European waters are discussed. Because of the morphological resemblance with the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, and the fact that both species have overlapping habitat tolerances, both species were compared whenever possible and a clear identification guide is proposed. Although invasion by M. leucophaeata in Europe seems rather slow, its fouling problems are even more severe than those of D. polymorpha, underpinning the statement that M. leucophaeata is becoming the brackish water equivalent of D. polymorpha in Europe. Expansion along European brackish waters is still taking place and speeding up, especially by means of ballast water and hull fouling of ships, with very recent discoveries in the Black Sea, the Guadalquivir in Spain and the Baltic Sea in Finland.

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