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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Asian clams: Reduce oxygen in the water Control of Freshwater Invasive Species

Key messages

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  • A controlled laboratory study conducted in the USA found that Asian clams were resistant to extreme very low levels of oxygen, irrespective of water temperature or length of immersion in the test conditions.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A controlled laboratory study in 1999 on specimens from a dam and artificial stream in Texas, USA (Matthews & McMahon 1999) found that Asian clams Corbicula fluminea survived low oxygen levels for extended time periods. They survived an average of 12, 35 and >84 days at 25°C, 15°C and 5°C, respectively. Survival rates were comparable with the control (normal oxygen levels). However, larger clams were less tolerant to low oxygen than smaller ones. Groups of clams were acclimated to 5°, 15° or 25°C for 14 days. A group of 30 adult clams were held in water that was either aerated (control) or had reduced oxygen at 5°, 15° and 25°C. In low oxygen treatments, partial pressure of oxygen was reduced to less than 5% of full air saturation by continually bubbling the water with nitrogen. The water was changed every 2-3 days. Testing ceased when all clams had died or after a maximum of 12 weeks. Oxygen concentrations and survival of clams were recorded daily.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Aldridge, D., Ockendon, N., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Some aspects of control of freshwater invasive species. Pages 569-602 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.