Determining the population distribution of invasive species Mytilus galloprovincialis and Mytilus edulis in comparison to the native species Mytilus trossulus in the Greater Vancouver area
The common blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, and the Mediterranean mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis, are both invasive species that are thinning out the population of our native species the Pacific Blue mussel, Mytilus trossulus, due to their ability to survive in harsh environments. They compete with our native mussels for resources which causes a shift in nutrient dynamics and marine ecosystems. We collected mussels from English Bay, False Creek, Jericho Pier, Kitsilano Beach, and the Lobster Man seafood market on Granville Island to determine the population distribution throughout the Greater Vancouver region. We performed DNA isolation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on the mussel samples, then analyzed the samples using gel electrophoresis. Our results indicated that we were only able to observe the presence of M. edulis and M. trossulus at English Bay, Jericho Pier, False Creek, and Kitsilano Beach. At the Lobster Man, the mussels were M. galloprovincialis as they advertised. No hybrids were present in our samples. Our results show a potential population distribution of the mussel population along the coast of British Columbia.