The bivalve Corbicula is one of the most successful aquatic mollusk invaders in the world. Since being introduced to North America from its native range in Asia, it has dispersed widely over a large portion of the continent from southern Canada to Panama. The first evidence of its introduction in the Western Hemisphere was discovered in 1924 in British Columbia, Canada. A review of distribution records from natural history museums, scientific literature, Federal and State agencies, universities, and oral and written communications with scientists has shown the continued dispersal of Corbicula in North America. Since the most recent comprehensive review of its distribution information through the mid-1980s, Corbicula has been found in an additional 2 Canadian Provinces, 10 U.S. States and Puerto Rico, 9 Mexican States, Cuba, and Panama. The known distribution in North America now includes 47 U.S. States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, 3 Canadian Provinces, 16 Mexican States, Cuba, and Panama. Corbicula has been found in three of the Laurentian Great Lakes (Erie, Michigan, Superior) primarily associated with industrial warmwater effluent refugia. Problems associated with Corbicula populations were widely realized not long after its arrival and included negative impacts to power generation, industrial water supply operations, and agricultural water conveyance. In natural settings, impacts on native mussels such as altering nutrient cycling, food webs, and sediment distribution dynamics have occurred. In past decades, control of established open water populations had not been a management priority. With a relatively recent interest in eradication of small, newly established populations, several attempts were made in the United States but were unsuccessful. Recent molecular genetic analyses provide evidence of multiple species and (or) genetically and morphologically distinguishable “forms” in North America. However, the number and identification of Corbicula species in North America remain unresolved. It appears likely that more than one species of Corbicula has been introduced into U.S. waters.
Benson, A.J., and Williams, J.D., 2021, Review of the invasive Asian clam Corbicula spp. (Bivalvia: Cyrenidae) distribution in North America, 1924–2019: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5001, 66 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215001.
ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Review of the invasive Asian clam Corbicula spp. (Bivalvia: Cyrenidae) distribution in North America, 1924–2019|
|Series title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Reston, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|
|Description||Report: ix, 66 p.; Data Release|
|Online Only (Y/N)||Y|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|