Determining the population distribution of invasive mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis, Mytilus edulis, native mussel Mytilus trossulus and their hybrids in Vancouver ecosystems and markets.

  • Wanyi Li
  • Cameron M. Tough
  • Jenny M. Ung
  • Catherine K. Wong


 The purpose of our study was to determine the population distribution of invasive Mediterranean blue mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis, invasive Atlantic Mytilus edulis, and native North-Pacific Mytilus trossulus. The introduction of invasive species can displace the native mussel species and alter the biota of the ecosystem. DNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and electrophoresis gel techniques were performed on three different populations to determine the species types. Twelve replicates were sampled from each local population: the Jericho Beach Pier, the Maritime Market Pier in Granville Island and the Lobster Man seafood market in Granville Island. Results reveal that both invasive and native species are present in the Jericho Beach Pier, with five individuals confirmed to be M.edulis (invasive) and six individuals confirmed to be M.trossulus (native). Additionally, there were six individuals confirmed to be M.edulis in the Maritime Market Pier, suggesting that only the invasive species is present. In the Lobster Man seafood market, there were two individuals confirmed to be M.edulis, three individuals confirmed to be M.galloprovincialis (invasive) and six individuals confirmed to be M.trossulus, which suggests that some of the samples were mislabeled. No hybrids were found in any of the populations. Our findings show a potential population distribution of the Mytilus spp. in Vancouver.