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What Works in Conservation 2018

William J. Sutherland
Lynn V. Dicks
Nancy Ockendon
et al.

10. Some aspects of control of freshwater invasive species

10.2. Threat: Invasive molluscs

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10.2.1 Asian clams


● Add chemicals to the water

1Two replicated laboratory studies and one controlled, replicated field study found that chlorine, potassium and copper killed Asian clams. Increasing chemical concentration and water temperature killed more clams in less time. One controlled field trial achieved 80% and 100% mortality of Asian clams using encapsulated control agents (SB1000 and SB2000 respectively) in irrigation systems. Assessment: beneficial (effectiveness 75%; certainty 70%).


● Change salinity of water

3A controlled, replicated laboratory study from the USA found that exposure to saline water killed all Asian clams. Assessment: beneficial (effectiveness 65%; certainty 68%).


● Mechanical removal

5A controlled before-and-after study from North America found suction dredging of sediment reduced an Asian clam population by 96%, and these effects persisted for a year. A replicated, controlled, before-and-after field trial in Ireland showed that three types of dredges were effective at removing between 74% and >95% of the Asian clam biomass. Assessment: beneficial (effectiveness 80%; certainty 78%).


Likely to be beneficial

● Change temperature of water

7A controlled laboratory study from the USA found that exposure to water at temperatures of 37°C and 36°C killed all Asian clams within 2 and 4 days, respectively. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 60%; certainty 55%).


● Clean equipment

9A field study from Portugal found that mechanical removal, followed by regular cleaning and maintenance of industrial pipes at a power plant permanently removed an Asian clam population. A field study from Portugal found that adding a sand filter to a water treatment plant reduced an Asian clam population. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 75%; certainty 50%).


● Use of gas-impermeable barriers

11One controlled study from North America found that placing gas impermeable fabric barriers on a lake bottom (several small and one large area) reduced populations of Asian clams. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 78%; certainty 60%).


Unlikely to be beneficial

● Reduce oxygen in water

13A controlled laboratory study from the USA found that Asian clams were not susceptible to low oxygen levels in the water. Assessment: unlikely to be beneficial (effectiveness 10%; certainty 50%).


No evidence found (no assessment)

15We have captured no evidence for the following interventions:

  • Change pH of water
  • Drain the invaded waterbody
  • Exposure to disease-causing organisms
  • Exposure to parasites
  • Hand removal
  • Public awareness and education.

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