Unwelcome visitors settle in Southern Cone


Two small invaders, a freshwater mussel and a feisty bird, are causing big worries in Argentina. The mussel (Limnoperna fortunei) and a variety of starling (Sturnus vulgaris) have taken up residence here in recent years, and experts fear they could add to the country’s economic and environmental troubles. Fast-reproducing Limnoperna fortunei, believed to have arrived from Asia in the ballast tanks of ships, was first spotted on rocks in the Buenos Aires province coastal resort of Berisso in 1991. The same year, researchers determined that concentrations of the mussel on submerged hard surfaces in the River Plate were four to five per square meter, according to biologist Gustavo Darrigran of Argentina’s La Plata Natural Sciences Museum. “By the next year, the number had surpassed... [Log in to read more]

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