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Tuesday, February 7 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
Symposia Session - S8: Fate of Freshwater Mussels. Spatial Variation in Biofouling of a Unionid Mussel (Lampsilis siliquoidea) by Dreissenid Mussels in the Great Lakes

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AUTHORS: James H. Larson, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Mary Anne Evans, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Robert J. Kennedy, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Sean W. Bailey, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Jeff Schaeffer, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; William B. Richardson, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

ABSTRACT: Invasion of North American freshwaters by two non-native mussel species (Dreissena polymorpha and D. rostriformis bugensis) has caused declines in several mollusk families.  Impacts to native Unionidae mussels are particularly acute, as dreissenid mussels biofoul these native mussels, impairing their ability to open and close their shell, acquire food and move.  In the North American Great Lakes, unionid mussel populations were already in decline prior to the dreissenid invasion, but initial expectations post-invasion were that dreissenid mussels would completely extirpate unionid mussels from large areas of the Great Lakes.  While unionid populations have declined dramatically, unionids persist where some refugia appear to exist.   One potential explanation for the persistence of these unionid populations is high variability in the distribution of dreissenid biofouling.  To assess this possibility, we deployed caged unionid mussels and Hester-Dendy samplers into nearshore waters of the Great Lakes.  Several stations were sampled in the western basin of Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron, Grand Traverse Bay and Green Bay of Lake Michigan.  Caged unionids were deployed over three years (2014-2016).  The measured biofouling rates are highly variable and suggest very large differences in biofouling rates in association with particular nearshore habitats, especially rivermouths.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 2:20pm - 2:40pm
Grand Ballroom A

Attendees (5)