Mytilopsis leucophaeata in the Finnish Archipelago

So, now it’s confirmed. Conrad’s false mussel has been seen in the South-West Archipel area. Earlier this for Finland alien species was observed in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, near Loviisa, like they tell us on the Baltic Sea Portal http://www.itameriportaali.fi/en/tietoa/tulokaslajit/en_GB/mytilopsis_leu/.

And today, they told in YLE news that this Mytilopsis leucophaeta has reached – or otherwise come to – Airisto. It took an American reseacher, Amy Fowler, to find them. At the university of Turku they verified the species using DNA-techniques. This little mussel looks so much like the very common Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), that it’s not really easy to just look at it and greet it with it’s right name.

The scientists of course want to know what are the effects of this newcomer on the Baltic Sea ecosystem? Mostly one immediately fears for negative effects, but just some time ago Joanna Norkko from Åbo Akademi and her colleagues found out, that another invasive species (polychaete worms, Marenzelleria spp) has had a very positive effect on the near bottom oxygen conditions in the Northern Baltic Sea, like they write in Global Change Biology

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