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The dwarf wedgemussel (Alasmidonta heterodon) is a federally endangered freshwater mussel that once ranged from New Brunswick to North Carolina, but now only exists in isolated populations throughout its diminished range. This study aimed to understand links between fish abundance and dwarf wedgemussel abundance and occurrence in the Connecticut and Delaware watersheds. Specifically, my study objectives were to 1) characterize fish assemblages near dwarf wedgemussel locations and unoccupied locations, 2) determine if dwarf wedgemussel occurrence and abundance are related to abundance of the known host fish species, tessellated darter and other potential host fish species per St. John White et. al. (2017). Two fish...
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The diagnosis of bacterial disease in freshwater unionid mussels has been hindered by a lack of baseline information regarding the microbial communities associated with these animals. In this study, we cultured and identified bacteria from the hemolymph of stable mussel populations from the upper Mississippi River basin and compared results to mussel populations associated with a mortality event in the Clinch River, VA and TN. Several bacterial genera were consistently identified across mussel species and locations, appearing to be part of the natural bacterial flora. One noteworthy isolate was identified from the Clinch River. Yokenella regensbergei was found with relatively high prevalence during the mortality...
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Control technology for dreissenid mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. bugensis) currently relies heavily on chemical molluscicides that can be both costly and ecologically harmful. There is a need to develop more environmentally neutral control tools to manage dreissenid mussels, particularly in cooler water. Previously, carbon dioxide (CO2) showed selective toxicity for Zebra mussels, relative to unionids, when applied in cool water (12 °C). Carp-Carbon Dioxide (carbon dioxide, CO2) is registered as a pesticide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for deterrence of Asian carp and to control aquatic nuisance species when applied under ice (USEPA 2019). The current registration would allow the use of...
Carbon dioxide has shown promise as a tool to control movements of invasive Asian carps. We evaluated lethal and sublethal responses of juvenile fat mucket (Lampsilis siliquoidea) mussels to carbon dioxide concentrations (43–269 mg/L, mean concentration) that are effective for deterring carp movement. The 28-d LC50 value (lethal concentration to 50% of the mussels) was 87.0 mg/L (95% confidence interval, CI 78.4–95.9) and at 16-d post-exposure was 76.0 mg/L (95% CI 62.9–90.3). A proportional hazards regression model predicted that juveniles could not survive CO2 concentrations >160 mg/L for more than 2 weeks or >100 mg/L CO2 for more than 30 days. Mean daily shell growth was significantly lower for mussels that...
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The Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States contain the greatest biodiversity of native freshwater mussels in the world, but they are highly imperiled due to habitat alteration and destruction, pollution and poor water quality, and the introduction of aquatic invasive species. Now they are at even greater risk from the stresses associated with climate change-induced sea level rise and its associated changes in salinity, water temperature, and stream flow. This project investigates the potential vulnerability and adaptation of a native freshwater mussel, the Tidewater Mucket, in coastal river systems and offer solutions for its conservation. Scientists have recently discovered a population of...
Summary (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fwb.12807/abstract) Conservation of freshwater unionid mussels presents unique challenges due to their distinctive life cycle, cryptic occurrence and imperilled status. Relevant ecological information is urgently needed to guide their management and conservation. We adopted a modelling approach, which is a novel application to freshwater mussels to enhance inference on rare species, by borrowing data among species in a hierarchical framework to conduct the most comprehensive occurrence analysis for freshwater mussels to date. We incorporated imperfect detection to more accurately examine effects of biotic and abiotic factors at multiple scales on the occurrence...
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The dwarf wedgemussel (Alasmidonta heterodon) is a federally endangered freshwater mussel that once ranged from New Brunswick to North Carolina, but now only exists in isolated populations throughout its diminished range. Laboratory propagation in conjunction with augmentation or reintroduction is considered a critical component of dwarf wedgemussel restoration. The presented data aimed to I) develop in-vitro propagation techniques including methods to minimize microbial contamination for two Alasmidonta species and II) compile and assess critical fish assemblage information at existing dwarf wedgemussel presence and absence locations to inform future restoration activities. Results from this project will be used...
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Freshwater mussels of the order Unionida are among the most endangered animal groups globally, but the causes of population declines are often enigmatic with little known about the role of disease. In 2018, we collected wild adult pheasantshell (Actinonaias pectorosa) and mucket (Actinonaias ligamentina) during an epidemiologic survey investigating an ongoing mussel mass mortality event in the Clinch River, USA. Histopathology and transmission electron microscopy showed a novel microsporidian parasite primarily infecting the ovary of pheasantshell. Sequencing of the small subunit rRNA gene produced a 1333 bp sequence with greatest similarity to Pseudonosema cristatellae (AF484694.1; 86.36%; e-value = 0), a microsporidium...
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Many freshwater mussel species are critically imperiled, and propagation is essential for species‘ recovery. Fungal contamination can negatively affect in vitro propagation of freshwater mussels; thus, we investigated methods of mitigating fungal contamination. Specifically, we tested the effect of medium replacement frequency, antifungal (Amphotericin B) concentrations, and antifungal addition method on risk of fungal contamination and transformation success of two species, Alasmidtonta heterodon and congener, Alasmidonta undulata. We found that contamination risk was higher in treatment groups that were replenished with Amphotericin B every one or two days (vs. every three days), but contamination risk was not...


    map background search result map search result map Impacts of Sea Level Rise on At-risk Native Freshwater Mussels in Atlantic Coastal Rivers Bacteriology of Unionid Mussels: Data A Novel Gonadotropic Microsporidian Parasite (Microsporidium clinchi n. sp.) Infecting a Declining Population of Pheasantshell Mussels (Actinonaias pectorosa) (Unioinidae) from the Clinch River, USA In-vitro Propagation and Fish Assessments to Inform Restoration of Dwarf Wedgemussel (Alasmidonta Heterodon) Experimental In-vitro Propagation Data for Alasmidonta heterodon and Alasmidonta undulata from June 2019- January 2020 Fish Surveys within 500-meters of Alasmidonta heterodon in the Connecticut and Delaware Watersheds from 1999 - 2019 Experimental In-vitro Propagation Data for Alasmidonta heterodon and Alasmidonta undulata from June 2019- January 2020 A Novel Gonadotropic Microsporidian Parasite (Microsporidium clinchi n. sp.) Infecting a Declining Population of Pheasantshell Mussels (Actinonaias pectorosa) (Unioinidae) from the Clinch River, USA In-vitro Propagation and Fish Assessments to Inform Restoration of Dwarf Wedgemussel (Alasmidonta Heterodon) Fish Surveys within 500-meters of Alasmidonta heterodon in the Connecticut and Delaware Watersheds from 1999 - 2019 Bacteriology of Unionid Mussels: Data Impacts of Sea Level Rise on At-risk Native Freshwater Mussels in Atlantic Coastal Rivers