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Driehoeksmossel Dreissena polymorpha

Foto: Hans Adema


Dreissenidae [familie]
Dreissena [genus] (2/1)
polymorpha [soort]

Exotenpaspoort ?

Reële kans op vestiging? Ja
Betrouwbaarheid beoordeling Grote mate van zekerheid (meerdere bronnen)
Vestigingsstatus Gevestigd
Zeldzaamheid Zeer algemeen
Invasiviteit Invasief
Invasiviteit (toelichting) D. polymorpha is native to the the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Aral Seas (ponto-caspian species). During the nineteenth century it has expanded its range to North America and most of Europe, including North West Russia, Scandinavia, and the UK. It is believed the spread of D. polymorpha from the Black Sea and Aralo-Caspian Sea basins largely took place in the past 200 years, but how exactly the invasion went, is unclear. Outside the Baltic Sea region it was found in England (London docks), in the 1820s. By 1827 it was found in the Rhine River, in 1838 in the Elbe River. During the nineteenth century D. polymorpha had invaded most inland water systems of western and central Europe. In 1988 the species first appeared in North America where it rapidly spread (Olenin et al., 1999; Cabi, 2008). D. polymorpha is placed on the ‘100 of the Worst Invaders’ list of the DAISIE project. There are many factors for its invasiveness: it is abundant in its native range and can become very abundant and invasive outside its native range; as a habitat generalist it is highly adaptable to many different environments, ranging from littoral and sublittoral zones in brackish and lacustrine environments, to depths of 5-9 meters in freshwater lakes; being a filterfeeder it can feed on a wide variety of food; it is fast growing and long lived (4-5 years, sometimes even more); has high reproductive potential (separate sexes, females reproduce in their second year, the eggs being fertilized outside the body by the males, up to 40,000 eggs can be laid in a reproductive cycle, up to 1-4 million per spawning season); has a high dispersion capability (larvae are free-swimming for up to a month); it settles in massive quantities, lives gregarious, usually attached with byssus threads to each other and the substrate; the species as a whole has a high genetic variability; it is easily transported by human-mediated means as well as through numerous naturally occurring vectors of dispersal (Gittenberger et al. 1998, Cabi, 2008). The most likely vector for the spread of Dreissena is shipping (ballast water and hull fouling of vessels). The species could also be transported with timber and other floating objects, or with river gravel. Transport with birds is also mentioned. During the pelagic state veligers and postveligers are transported by currents. Secondary dispersal occurs by the drifting of post-larvae and young adults using byssal threads and mucous threads.
Type introductie Niet opzettelijk
Jaar van eerste introductie 1825
Jaar van eerste melding 1826
Natuurlijke verspreiding Europa
Verspreiding in Nederland
  • Drenthe
  • Flevoland
  • Friesland
  • Gelderland
  • Groningen
  • Limburg
  • Noord-Brabant
  • Noord-Holland
  • Overijssel
  • Utrecht
  • Zuid-Holland
  • Zeeland
  • Verspreiding in Nederland (toelichting) D. polymorpha was first discovered in the Netherlands in 1826 in the Rhine River and Haarlemmermeer (Waardenburg, 1927). In 1859 the species is already considered ‘common and abundant almost everywhere in our rivers and waters’ (Herklots, 1859). At present, the species is still common in most suitable freshwaterhabitats in the Netherlands, for instance in the large rivers and lakes (a.o. Lake IJssel, Rivers Rhine, Meuse) and most smaller waters. It also might live in some low salinity brackish waters, although here it may be replaced by Mytilopsis leucophaeata (for instance in the North Sea Canal area). Recently, since around 2004, another Dreissinid bivalve, the highly invasive Quagga-mussel Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, was introduced to the Netherlands. There are indications this larger and more robust species is competing with and even is replacing (or has already replaced) D. polymorpha in some waters.
  • Meren
  • Waterwegen
  • Oeverzones
  • Wijze van introductie
  • Machines/apparatuur
  • Hengelsport-/visuitrusting
  • Ballastwater schip/boot
  • Aangroei op scheepsrompen
  • Onderling verbonden waterwegen/bassins/zeeën
  • Impact
  • Nieuwe bron in voedselweb
  • Concurrentie
  • Sociaal-economisch
  • Ecologische impact (toelichting) D. polymorpha competes for space and food with native mussels and other filter-feeding organisms. By attaching with byssusthreads it can also have a direct impact on individual specimens of other species. For instance when Dreissena attaches itself to native bivalves like Unionids, these will lose their ability to move, feed, breath, and breed, which eventually will lead to their death. Loss of native mussel populations has increased in American lakes where D. polymorpha is present. D. polymorpha also causes habitat alterations: its tendency to form dense aggregates (musselbeds, -reefs) on hard surfaces changes the environment dramatically. The effects however are not all negative: the animals are capable of filtering about one liter of water per day while feeding on microscopic plankton organisms and organic particles (primarily algae), which results in increased water clarity (Starobogatov, 1994; Olenin et al., 1999). Dense colonization of hard substrates may be beneficial to several benthic invertebrates, as together with an increase of habitat complexity, also the availability of organic matter increases as non-food particles combined with mucus and other matter are deposited by Dreissena on the bottom as pseudofeces. Many species (crustaceans, fish) find shelter between the musselbeds and for sessile organisms (hydroids, bryozoa) the beds make suitable substrates. Dreissena itself is a food source for birds (especially diving ducks), mammals (rats, muskrats), crustaceans (crayfish) and demersal fish (carp, eel).
    Economische impact (toelichting) Aggregation on hard surfaces may lead to serious economic impact in water systems. Large numbers of larvae settling in pipes and the subsequent forming of thick mats may restrict the water flow. This may increase the corrosion of steel piping and the fouling of pumps, holding tanks, condenser units a.o. (Kovalak et al. 1993, Minchin et al. 2002). In general Dreissena can cause multiple economic impacts, including: fisheries (alteration of fish communities), aquaculture (fouling); water abstractions (clogging of waterpipes) and aquatic transport (fouling of ship hulls and navigational constructions). In the Netherlands the economic impact is not as dramatic as in America, but it is still a matter of importance.


    • CABI 2008. Dreissena polymorpha [original text by R. Bukontaite & A. Zaiko]. In: Invasive Species Compendium. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.
    • Gittenberger, E., A.W. Janssen, W.J. Kuijper, J.G.J. Kuiper, T. Meijer, G. van der Velde & J.N. de V 1998. De Nederlandse zoetwatermollusken. Recente en fossiele weekdieren uit zoet en brak water. Nederlandse Fauna 2: 1-288. Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum, Naturalis, Nederland.
    • Herklots, J.A. 1859. De Weekdieren van Nederland. In: Natuurlijke Historie van Nederland. De Dieren van Nederland, Weekdieren. 1-465. Kruseman, Haarlem.
    • Kovalak, W.P., G.G. Longton & R.D. Smithee 1993. Infestation of power plant water systems by zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). In: T.F. Nalepa & D.W. Schloesser (eds), Zebra mussels: biology, impacts, and control. 358-380. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida.
    • Minchin, D., F. Lucy & M. Sullivan 2002. Zebra mussel: Impacts and spread. Distribution, Impacts and Management. In: E. Leppäkoski , S. Gollasch & S. (eds.), Olenin Invasive Aquatic Species of Europe. 135-146. Kluwer Acadamic Publishers, Dordrecht.
    • Olenin, S., M. Orlova & D. Minchin 1999. Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771). In: S. Gollasch, D. Minchin H. Rosenthal, M. Voigt (eds.), Case histories on introduced species: their general biology, distribution, range expansion and impact. 37-42. Logos-Verlag, Berlin, Germany.
    • Starobogatov, Y.I. 1994. Freshwater zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha (Pall.) (Bivalvia, Dreissenidae): systematics, ecology, practical meaning. 1-241. Nauka, Moscow, Russia.
    • Waardenburg, H.G. 1827. Commentatio ad quaestionem propositam. Historia naturalis animalium molluscorum regno Belgico indigenorum. 1-59. Dissertatie Leiden.
    • Zaiko, A. & S. Olenin 2006. Dreissena polymorpha. In: DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway. [link]