Type of fouling organism: Bivalve
Bivalves are molluscs and include species of oyster, scallop, mussel, cockle and clam. All are aquatic and most are marine. Their body is laterally compressed between two halves of a hinged shell. Many bivalves are sedentary with a foot that secretes a number of byssus threads that enables them to attach to the substratum. Feeding is by way of two main ciliary tracts located on enlarged gill surfaces within the mantle which is contained in the shell. Hair-like structures (cilia) produce water currents and trap food particles beating them towards labial palps allowing small particles to be conveyed to the mouth
The Mytilus edulis shell is roughly triangular in shape and is smooth with a sculpturing of concentric lines. The shell colour varies and is usually purple or blue, but brown individuals have also been observed. Average length range is 50 -100 mm and it attaches to hard substrates with hair-like byssus threads.
Environment and Habitat
- Habitat - high intertidal to subtidal, from open coast rocky shores to rocks and piers both in estuaries and sheltered harbours.
- Reproduction Type: Separate sexes.
- Solitary and gregarious.
- Colonize natural and artificial surfaces such as piles, buoys and harbour structures
Effects and Impacts
- Negative effect on infrastructure and equipment.
Control/ Strategies and Management
Principles of Management
C Combat Settlement
- The range extends from the White Sea past the Barents Sea in the north to southern France in the north east Atlantic.
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