Here to stay, Zebra mussels are one of the invasive species found in our lakes. There are good and bad sides to their presence. They help to cleanse the water by filtering out pollutants which in turn allows sunlight to reach greater depths. That can have a positive impact on algae growth equating to more food for fish, insects, snails and so on.
The negative impact is in their rapid colonisation of surfaces and their disruption to an ecosystem generally. Because they filter out harmful chemicals and detritus, which concentrate in the mussels over time, they can become harmful to wildlife if eaten.
Location: Buckland Lake Nature Reserve, Cliffe, Kent, UK
Photographer: Laura Storm