[permaculture] Re: Pond Plantings...invasives

Mark mpludwig at facstaff.wisc.edu
Thu Oct 10 11:17:39 EDT 2002

At 01:10 PM 10/9/02 -0400, you wrote:
>Dear Claude (Genest)----
>I've been following your plan to stock your pond with zebra mussels and 
>think it would make a great experiment to see what they will do. Theory 
>sort of requires that they stop multiplying when they've reached 
>equilibrium with their food source.
>I suspect that what they do is eat stuff that no one else wants to eat. In 
>the Caspian, where they come from, they have been in equilibrium for 
>millennia and are not a problem. In the northern States and Canada they 
>are a terrible problem because their uneaten food has built up for those 
>same millennia and they are busily trying to get up to the task of chowing 
>it all down. Once they do they'll get back to a more reasonable density.

This does not seem to be happening.  There are areas where they have 
scrubbed the water pretty clean where they have not crashed.  Furthermore 
they have wiped out many of the native mussels in the areas they have infested.

>In the meantime the municipalities have a problem because they clog the 
>intakes and outflows of all their water & sewer pipes. I assume you don't 
>have that problem in your pond. Also, you don't yet have an ecology to 
>disrupt. Start with the zebras, or with any other filter feeders you can 
>find that will keep your water clean.
>If you do have the pond fill up with mussels, sell them to the Highway 
>Department. They can crush them up and use them to make road bed.

I would say try some of the native mussels first and see if they will get 
the job done.  They're bigger and more suitable for eating, and they could 
use the help.

>Mike in Fuquay

Mark P. Ludwig
Poultry Research Lab
University of Wisconsin -Madison
608-262-1730 WK
608-846-7125 HM

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