Field and Laboratory Determination of Substrate Preferences of Unionid Mussels
Creators:Huehner, Martin K.
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v87, n1 (March, 1987), 29-32
Substrate preferences were investigated in the field and in the laboratory for Anodonta grandis spp., hampsilis radiata radiata, L. radiata luteola, and Elliptio dilatata. Habitat substrate type, water depth, and current velocity were measured either for individual mussels or for 1-m plots by SCUBA or snorkeling. In the laboratory, individual mussels were presented with a choice of sand or gravel substrates in a 0.6 X 1.8 m tank with overhead lighting. Elliptio dilatata, which was found only in the Indian River, Michigan occurred in greatest density in 2.5-cm gravel bottoms with current velocities of 0.40 to 0.54 mps. This species displayed no substrate preference in laboratory tests, hampsilis radiata radiata from Fish Lake, Michigan, showed a preference for sand bottom in shallow water in the field and sand in the laboratory; Indian River specimens were most abundant in sand and fine gravel in the field and showed no substrate preference in the laboratory. hampsilis radiata luteola showed no substrate preference in the Cuyahoga River, Ohio, but chose sand more frequently in laboratory tests. Anodonta grandis spp. was most abundant in deep water (5.3 m), mud bottoms in Fish Lake and in fine sediments (mud or sand) in the Cuyahoga River. Bottoms of thick (> 1 m) mud in shallow water were occupied only by A. grandis spp. in Fish Lake; lake and river A. grandis spp. preferred sand in laboratory tests. Results indicate that water velocity was a more important habitat requirement than substrate for E. dilatata, whereas A. grandis spp. had a clear preference for finer substrates, even in quiet water, hampsilis radiata radiata and h. radiata luteola were broad in habitat tolerances but avoided deep, soft mud.
Author Institution: Department of Biology, Hiram College
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