Distribution of the invasive Indo-Pacific green mussel, Perna viridis, in Kingston Harbour, Jamaica
In February 1998, green mussels were first observed during the collection of mangrove roots from Kingston Harbour on the south coast of Jamaica by researchers at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Preliminary observations of its morphological characteristics identified the mussel as Perna viridis, and this was confirmed by reference to the retractor muscle scars on the inside of the shells and ultimately by chromosome number. Prior to the first sighting in Jamaica, P. viridis was seen in Trinidad (1990), and subsequently in Tampa Bay, Florida (1999). A preliminary survey of 29 random sites was carried out in July 1999, which revealed that the mussel had established itself at numerous sites around the Harbour. Ten of these sites were monitored monthly for one year from February 2000 to January 2001 for mussel density, physicochemical parameters, suspended solids, microalgae, and gut contents. Densities varied throughout the year and appeared to be affected by salinity, substrate availability and removal by persons. Analysis of the gut contents of several of these mussels revealed the presence of four species of toxic microalgae, as well as a large amount of organic material. Further studies aimed at following the spread of this invading species are in progress.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 September 2003
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