Recent graduate: Genetic aspects of a marine invasion, gene pool capture via ballast water transport
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Introduction of foreign species to an ecosystem can cause millions of dollars per year in economic impacts to fisheries and biofouling of coastal industrial facilities. The main source of these introductions is ballast water discharge. In these new ecosystems, these species may become dominant due to a lack of predators and diseases. At the mouth of the Corpus Christi Bay in early 1990, an exotic mollusk was discovered. This mollusk has been identified as either the brown mussel (Perna perna) or the green mussel (Perna viridis). Because shell shape and color vary according to ecological conditions, green and brown mussels are difficult to separate.