Population Dispersal of Native B.C. Blue Mussel Species M. trossulus and non-native B.C. Blue Mussel Species M.edulis and M. galloprovincialis along B.C Coastlines


  • Alexandra Dimtriou
  • Adan Moallemi
  • Yasmin Mohammadian Bozorgi
  • Toktam Movassagh
  • Alexandra Schmidt


Blue mussel species are abundant across the coast of British Columbia, but the distribution and proportion of native versus non-native populations is yet to be explored in depth. The bay mussel, M. trossulus, is native to British Columbia but the population has recently become threatened by the presence of the non-native common blue mussels, M.edulis, and Mediterranean blue mussels, M. galloprovincialis. Non-native species are able to withstand more harsh conditions and outcompete vital native species for resources, which ultimately causes a shift in delicate marine ecosystem dynamics. In order to better understand the distribution of these three key species in British Columbia, we collected mussels at random, and identified samples from Ambleside, Harbourside place, English Bay, and Jericho Beach. We also collected and identified mussels from The Lobster Man Seafood Market on Granville Island, which were marketed as M. galloprovincialis to act as a control. We then isolated the DNA of five mussels from each location, performed Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) on the 25 samples and identified the mussels through gel electrophoresis. Our findings indicate the presence of non-native species M.galloprovincialis and native species M.trossulus at English Bay, Jericho Beach and Harbourside place. Samples from Ambleside indicate only the presence of M.trossulus and, as expected, the samples from The Lobster Man in Granville Island were M.galloprovincialis. Our results did not indicate the presence of hybrid species or the common blue mussel, M.edulis. This study collected and analysed observational data from the blue mussel species in the Greater Vancouver area to show the distribution and abundance of the native and non-native Mytilus spp. blue mussel species across the B.C. coast.