Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record: 1894
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record: 1894
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record:

General Invasion History:

The native range of Geukensia demissa spans from the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to Palm Beach, Florida (Bousfield 1960; Abbott 1974; Morris 1975; Gosner 1978; Krisberg 2009). The Gulf Ribbed Mussel (Geukensia granossisima), formerly considered a subspecies of G. demissa occurs from northwest Florida to Texas (Sarver et al. 1992). Specimens introduced to the West Coast have been identified as G. demissa by molecular methods (Sarver et al. 1992).

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History on the West Coast:

Geukensia demissa was first collected on the West Coast in South San Francisco Bay in 1894 (Carlton 1979). It was introduced with plantings of Eastern Oysters (Miller 2007). It is now one of the most abundant bivalves in San Francisco Bay, from San Pablo Bay to South Bay, where it lines the edges of salt-marsh creeks, channel banks, and retaining walls, attached to the substrate or plant roots by byssus threads (Carlton 1979; Cohen and Carlton 1995). One specimen was collected in Tomales Bay, California (CA) in 1952, and there are other unverified records, for instance, it was reported from Tomales Bay by Fairey et al. (2002), based on a 2001 survey. This mussel was found in 1986 in Morro Bay, CA but was not reported during subsequent surveys in 2001 (Needles 2007). In Southern California, G. demissa was found in Newport Bay in 1955, Alamitos Bay in 1968 (Reish 1968, cited by Carlton 1979; 2000, Cohen et al. 2002; Burnaford et al. 2011), Anaheim Bay in 1972 (Reish 1972, cited by Carlton 1979), and the adjacent Bolsa Chica Lagoon in 1992 (Carlton 1992). Occurrences in southern California could be associated with Eastern Oyster transfers, but the documented transfers were few and small. Introductions with ballast water or fouling are possible. Further south, it is established and very abundant in Estero de Punta Banda, Baja California Norte, Mexico, where it was introduced by the early 1980s (Torchin et al. 2005).

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World:

Geukensia 'demissa' has been reported and studied in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, where it was introduced by 1994, and is now established (Romero et al. 2003; Baez et al. 2005). However, these records could refer to G. granossisima (Gulf Ribbed Mussel), which was formerly considered conspecific with G. demissa.


Description

Geukensia demissa has a moderately thin, oblong-oval shell. The outer surface is marked by numerous strong radial ribs with widely spaced growth lines. The beak of the shell is subterminal, located somewhat above the hinge of the shell. Hinge teeth are absent. The ventral portion of the shell is slightly curved inward. The exterior color is yellowish-green to bluish brown, while the interior is silvery white, and often iridescent. Adult mussels range from 20 to 1400 mm (Abbott 1974; Brousseau 1984; Coan et al. 2000; Coan and Vantich-Scott 2007). Larvae are described and illustrated by Chanley and Andrews (1971). The larvae are planktotrophic, and settle at 215-305 µm (Chanley and Andrews 1971).


Taxonomy

Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Mollusca
Class:   Bivalvia
Subclass:   Pteriomorphia
Order:   Mytiloida
Family:   Mytilidae
Genus:   Geukensia
Species:   demissa

Synonyms

Arcuatula demissa (None, None)
Brachidontes demissus (None, None)
Ischadium demissum (None, None)
Modioulus plicatulus (Lamarck, 1819)
Volsella demissus (None, None)

Potentially Misidentified Species

Geukensia granossisima
(Sowerby 1914). Gulf Ribbed Mussel- this species had been regarded as a subspecies of G. demissa, but molecular analysis (enzyme electrophoresis) indicates that G. granossisimma and G. demissa are separate species (Sarver et al. 1992; Lee and O'Foighil 2004). Photographs posted by Krisberg (2009) show strong morphological differences between the forms, with a more hooked shape in G. granosissima, resembling mussels of the genus Ischadium, a similarity supported by molecular evidence (Lee and O'Foighil 2004).

Ischadium recurvum
Hooked Mussel- Young specimens are similar, but show strong curvature with growth.

Ecology

General:

Geukensia demissa has separate sexes. Animals mature at about one year of age. Sexes differ in the color of the mantle, with females being yellowish brown, while males are a cream color. Eggs are brooded, but sperm are released into the water column. Fertilized eggs develop into a planktonic trochophore larva, then into a shelled veliger. The larvae settle at 220-300 µm (Chanley and Andrews 1971).

Geukensia demissa larvae settle on rocks, wood, roots of marsh plants, and peat, though they are most abundant in marsh habitats (Abbott 1974; Morris 1975; Gosner 1978; Lippson and Lippson 1997). Marsh populations tolerate water temperatures from -1.8 to 37⁰C (Read and Cumming 1967, cited by Hicks and McMahon 2002), and doubtless survive higher air temperatures. They also tolerate wide ranges of salinity, from 5 to 70 PSU (Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce 2011).

Food:

Phytoplankton; Detritus

Consumers:

Birds, California Clapper Rail

Trophic Status:

Suspension Feeder

SusFed

Habitats

General HabitatMarinas & DocksNone
General HabitatSalt-brackish marshNone
General HabitatVessel HullNone
General HabitatUnstructured BottomNone
General HabitatOyster ReefNone
Salinity RangeMesohaline5-18 PSU
Salinity RangePolyhaline18-30 PSU
Salinity RangeEuhaline30-40 PSU
Tidal RangeLow IntertidalNone
Tidal RangeMid IntertidalNone
Vertical HabitatEpibenthicNone
Vertical HabitatEndobenthicNone


Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Minimum Temperature (ºC)-2Based on geographical range
Maximum Temperature (ºC)37Experimental, ranges of 35-37 reported by Read and Cumming (1967), cited by Hicks and McMahon (2002)
Minimum Salinity (‰)5Field record (Miller 2000), Experimental, stepwise decrease (Wells 1961)
Maximum Salinity (‰)70Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce 2011.
Minimum Reproductive Temperature20Field data, North Carolina (Borerro 1987)
Maximum Reproductive Temperature28Field data, North Carolina (Borerro 1987)
Minimum Duration12Lab reared at 22 C (Loosanoff and Davis 1963)
Maximum Duration43Lab reared at 22 C (Loosanoff and Davis 1963)
Minimum Length (mm)20Minimum Adult Size (Brousseau 1984)
Maximum Length (mm)140Maximum Adult Size (Brousseau 1984)
Broad Temperature RangeNoneCold temperate-Subtropical
Broad Salinity RangeNoneMesohaline-Euhaline

General Impacts

Geukensia demissa is very abundant in San Francisco Bay, California. Possible economic impacts include structural effects on marsh channels and dikes. Since these mussels constitute a very large biomass, they could have a significant ecological impact by filtering phytoplankton and competing for food with native bivalves. Some of these impacts also appear probable in Estero Puerto Bando, Mexico, based on field studies by Torchin et al. (2005). However, economic and ecological (experimental) studies of G. demissa have not been conducted in its introduced range.

Ecological Impacts

Habitat Change- High densities of G. demissa in Estero de Punta Banda, Mexico, appear to facilitate growth of the native Pacific cordgrass Spartina foliosa, based on correlation of density of the two organisms (Torchin et al. 2005). The Ribbed Mussels also have a rather unusual impact on a native, endangered, bird. The rapidly closing shells of the mussels can trap chicks and sever toes of adult California Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) in salt marshes (Carlton 1979; Cohen and Carlton 1995). Geukensia demissa represents a similar threat to another endangered subspecies, R. l. levipes, (Light-Footed Clapper Rail) in Estero Bando (Torchin et al., 2005).

Food/Prey- However, this abundant mussel is also a major food source for the California Clapper Rail (Moffitt 1941, cited by Cohen and Carlton 1995) and doubtless for other wading birds, raccoons, otters, and other salt-marsh predators.

Regional Impacts

NEP-VNorthern California to Mid Channel IslandsEcological ImpactHabitat Change
Closing shells can trap chicks and sever toes of adult endangered California Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) in salt marshes (Carlton 1979; Cohen and Carlton 1995).
P090San Francisco BayEcological ImpactHabitat Change
Closing shells can trap chicks and sever toes of adult endangered California Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) in salt marshes (Carlton 1979; Cohen and Carlton 1995).
NEP-VIPt. Conception to Southern Baja CaliforniaEcological ImpactHabitat Change
High densities of G. demissa in Estero de Punta Banda, Baja California Norte, Mexico, appear to facilitate growth of the native Pacific cordgrass Spartina foliosa. They also present a hazard to the endangered Light-footed Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostrus levipes), in Estero Puerto Bando, based on the damage seen to the subspecies (R. l. oboletus) in San Francisco Bay (Torchin et al. 2005).
NEP-VIPt. Conception to Southern Baja CaliforniaEcological ImpactCompetition
Based on the very high biomass seen in Estero de Punta Banda (4 X that of the next most abundant and native species, Tagelus spp.), competition for phytoplankton and other suspended food particles is likely (Torchin et al. 2005).
NEP-VNorthern California to Mid Channel IslandsEcological ImpactFood/Prey
Geukensia demissa comprised 57% of the diet of the endangered California Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) (Moffitt 1941, cited by Cohen and Carlton 1995).
P090San Francisco BayEcological ImpactFood/Prey
Geukensia demissa comprised 57% of the diet of the endangered California Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) (Moffitt 1941, cited by Cohen and Carlton 1995).

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
NA-ET1 Gulf of St. Lawrence to Bay of Fundy 0 Native Estab
NA-S3 None 0 Native Estab
NA-ET2 Bay of Fundy to Cape Cod 0 Native Estab
NA-ET3 Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras 0 Native Estab
CAR-VII Cape Hatteras to Mid-East Florida 0 Native Estab
NEP-V Northern California to Mid Channel Islands 1894 Def Estab
NEP-VI Pt. Conception to Southern Baja California 1955 Def Estab
CAR-III None 1994 Def Estab
P040 Newport Bay 1955 Def Estab
P050 San Pedro Bay 1968 Def Estab
P090 San Francisco Bay 1894 Def Estab
P110 Tomales Bay 2001 Def Estab
P093 _CDA_P093 (San Pablo Bay) 1894 Def Estab
P070 Morro Bay 1986 Def Unk
P029 _CDA_P029 (Newport Bay) 1944 Def Estab
P058 _CDA_P058 (San Pedro Channel Islands) 2011 Def Unk

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude
7876 Carlton 1992 1997 1979-01-01 Bolsa Chica Lagoon Def 33.6922 -118.0398
7877 Torchin et al. 2005 1985 1985-01-01 Estero de Punta Banda Def 31.7500 -116.6167
7878 Romero et al. 2003 2002 2002-01-01 Lake Maracaibo Def 10.9000 -71.8000
7879 Baez et al. 2005) 2001 2001-01-01 El Mojan Def 10.9167 -71.7500
7880 Bousfield 1960 None 9999-01-01 Chaleur Bay Native 48.0000 -66.0000
7881 Bousfield 1960) None 9999-01-01 Cape Breton Island Native 46.0000 -61.5000
7882 Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2003 None 9999-01-01 Charlottetown Native 46.2400 -63.1399
7883 Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2003 None 9999-01-01 Random Island Native 48.1167 -53.7333
7884 Bousfield 1960 None 9999-01-01 St. Marys Bay Native 44.4167 -66.1000
7889 Bousfield 1960 None 9999-01-01 Minas Basin Native 45.2500 -64.1667
7890 U.S. National Museum of Natural History 2012) None 9999-01-01 Glen Haven, SW Of Halifax Native 44.5833 -64.0000
7891 U.S. National Museum of Natural History 2012 None 9999-01-01 Bluff Hill Cove Native 41.3845 -71.5012
7892 U.S. National Museum of Natural History 2012 None 9999-01-01 New Rochelle, Colony Beach Club Native 40.9115 -73.7824
7893 U.S. National Museum of Natural History 2012 None 9999-01-01 Lewes, At Henlopen Flats Native 38.8032 -75.0946
7894 U.S. National Museum of Natural History 2012 None 9999-01-01 Lockwoods Folly Inlet Native 33.9200 -78.2300
7895 U.S. National Museum of Natural History 2012 None 9999-01-01 off Georgia Native 31.3933 -80.8867
7896 U.S. National Museum of Natural History 2012 None 9999-01-01 Off Florida Def 25.7561 -83.7036
7897 Academy of Natural Sciences oif Philadelphia 2012 None 9999-01-01 Woodland Beach Native 39.3334 -75.4746
7898 Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia None 9999-01-01 Benedict Native 38.5333 -76.7167
7899 Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2012 None 9999-01-01 Brigantine Island Native 39.4833 -74.3333
7900 Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2012 None 9999-01-01 Saint Augustine Native 29.7000 -81.2167
7901 Yale Peabody Museum 2012 None 9999-01-01 Oyster Creek Native 44.0987 -69.4920

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