Oceanography & Fisheries

Limnoperna fortunei
Golden mussel
Invasive species
Early detection
Molecular biology
Economic losses

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Rayan Silva de Paula, Mariana de Paula Reis, Gabriela Rabelo Andrade, Clara Carvalho e Souza, Antonio Valadão Cardoso, Erika Cristina Jorge

The establishment of invading organisms in natural ecosystems is one of the most serious environmental issues. In Brazil, the invasive species Limnoperna fortunei (Dunker, 1857), the golden mussel, is a mollusk capable of causing major changes in water systems, generating social and economic impacts, given its biofouling capacity. Limnoperna fortunei can easily block pipes and heat exchangers in the water systems of hydroelectric power plants due to its ability to strongly adhere to the substrate using its byssus – a bundle of filaments secreted by these animals. Therefore, the early detection of this invader is essential for management actions to be immediate, in order to control population growth rate at the beginning of the invasive process, preventing this environment from serving as a source for new infestations. The implantation of a method that integrates the active monitoring of prioritized areas, laboratory techniques, including molecular biology methods, and the sharing of hydrographic data between basin managers and users for early detection of the presence of species in Brazilian waters appears as an efficient option to prevent and control invasions.