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Modeling the Response of Freshwater Mussels to Changes in Water Temperature, Habitat, and Streamflow


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North American freshwater mussels are in serious decline as a result of pollution and habitat destruction from human activities. In addition, many mussel species are living in habitats that push the upper limits of their heat tolerance, which may become problematic as the climate and, as a result, water temperatures warm. As part of this project, we created a set of models to predict how freshwater mussels would respond to climate change effects. Our primary objective was to help federal and state natural resource managers forecast how mussel species will respond to climate change over the next 30 to 50 years, so that managers can develop appropriate adaptation strategies to address these changes. Additionally, through this project, [...]

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“Southern rainbow mussel - Credit: Alan Cressler”
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“Higgins eye pearly mussels - Credit: Gary Wege, USFWS”
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