The Effect of Medetomidine on the Burying Speed of Corbicula fluminea
Winner of the 2013 Stock Writing Prize for Sciences
A new anti-fouling drug, medetomidine, was tested to determine if it reduced the burying speed of a freshwater alien-invasive bivalve species, Corbicula fluminea. Corbicula are known to damage underwater structures and must be managed with chemical paints. The burying speeds of Corbicula were measured both before and after exposure to two different concentrations of medetomidine. The burying speed of Corbicula before exposure to a 1x10-6 M medetomidine solution was not significantly different from the burying speed after exposure (t=.55, df=21, p=.588). The burying speed of Corbicula was significantly slower after exposure to a 1x10-5 M medetomidine solution than before exposure (t=4.08, df=8, p<.01). The results of this study indicated that medetomidine could be effective against Corbicula at concentrations higher than 1x10-5 M due to sedation of the foot muscles involved with burying. If so, medetomidine could be a superior chemical for anti-fouling applications compared to older, more toxic compounds.