Development of juvenile culture techniques and testing of potential biomarkers of environmental stress in freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae)
Beaty, Braven B.
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The freshwater mussel fauna of the Clinch River in Southwest Virginia has declined in recent decades, principally due to habitat degradation from poor land-use patterns and pollutants. A study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of using river water in a flow-through culture system to rear juvenile freshwater mussels. The culture method placed juvenile mussels, confined in small dishes, into oval troughs supplied with untreated river water. Two of three years produced acceptable survival rates of 27% and 19% to an age of 90 days or greater. The third year yielded very low survival rates of less than 3%, demonstrating that failures in culture production can occur. Growth rates of juveniles in the culture system using river water were almost double those in laboratory culture systems, provided that juveniles were placed in the oval troughs during June. Otherwise, growth was comparable to that attained in laboratory culture systems.
- Doctoral Dissertations