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1 March 2011 Survival of the Invasive Clam Corbicula fluminea (Müller) in Response to Winter Water Temperature
Oliver Müller, Bruno Baur
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Water temperature plays a crucial role in determining the distribution of aquatic organisms because most are ectothermic. The further spread of the invasive Asian clam Corbicula fluminea, a species causing enormous damage to water intake pipes and electric power plant cooling systems, has been assumed to be limited due to intolerance of very cold water, with a lower lethal temperature of about 2°C. In recent years, however, C. fluminea invaded most of the major rivers in Europe, including sections where the water temperature falls below 2°C for short periods during winter. Here we quantify the cold tolerance of C. fluminea in a controlled laboratory experiment. We show that C. fluminea has a greater cold tolerance than previously assumed. In water of 0°C, clam survival decreased from 100% to 17.5% with increasing exposure from 4 to 9 weeks. Considering actual water temperatures of rivers during winter and ongoing stream warming, we conclude that this invasive clam will establish in a wider range of waterbodies in Europe than previously predicted.

Oliver Müller and Bruno Baur "Survival of the Invasive Clam Corbicula fluminea (Müller) in Response to Winter Water Temperature," Malacologia 53(2), 367-371, (1 March 2011).
Accepted: 1 October 2010; Published: 1 March 2011

Asian clam
biological invasion
cold tolerance
Corbicula fluminea
winter survival
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