Impact of Introduction: Smith et al. (2002) described C. caspia as a 'benthic colonial predator' that preys upon chironomids and other larval insects. This may result in less prey availability for fish. The ecological impacts of C. caspia, however, have not yet been thoroughly studied. Uncolonized substrate introduced to C. caspia and subsequently colonizied had different realtive abundances of other invertebrates as compared to substrates not colonized by C. caspia (Ruiz et al. 1999). Other studies have suggested that C. caspia may contribute to a restructuring of benthic and pelagic freshwater communities (Folino 2000).
Competition for space, i.e. sutiable substrate for colonization, may occur between zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and C. caspia (Walton 1996, Folino 2000). Cordylophora caspia also typically eats zebra and quagga mussel larvae.
There is a negative economic impact associated with the biofouling caused by Cordylophora caspia (Folino 2000).
References: (click for full references)
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