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Abstract (from Freshwater mussels (Unionidae) are a highly imperilled faunal group. One critical threat is thermal sensitivity, because global climate change and other anthropogenic activities contribute to increasing stream temperature and altered hydrologic flow that may be detrimental to freshwater mussels. We incorporated four benthic environmental components – temperature, sediment, water level (a surrogate for flow) and a vertical thermal gradient in the sediment column – in laboratory mesocosm experiments with juveniles of two species of freshwater mussels (Lampsilis abrupta and Lampsilis radiata) and tested their effects on survival, burrowing...
In Texas, the USFWS is currently reviewing 11 mussel species for ESA protection and several of these species (e.g., Cyclonaias petrina, Texas Pimpleback, and Lampsilis bracteata, Texas Fatmucket) have been the primary focus of controlled propagation by several federal hatcheries. To date, information on genetic diversity within and across known populations for these species is incomplete and so the justification for their controlled propagation is unclear, and a genetic management plan to guide propagation activities does not exist. These unknowns raise serious questions about whether any of the 11 proposed species are truly in need of and would benefit from controlled propagation. The overall goal of this project...