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14 December 2010 Host fish quality may explain the status of endangered Epioblasma torulosa rangiana and Lampsilis fasciola (Bivalvia∶Unionidae) in Canada
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Abstract

Freshwater unionid mussels are among the most endangered groups of organisms in the world. They develop indirectly via a host, usually a fish, and this dependence appears to limit the reproduction and distribution of freshwater mussels. Epioblasma torulosa rangiana and Lampsilis fasciola are 2 endangered species in Canada. Epioblasma t. rangiana has a low abundance and limited distribution, whereas L. fasciola has a higher abundance and less-constrained distribution. Three known host species were examined for each mussel species. Results were that: 1) E. t. rangiana glochidia had significantly higher metamorphosis rates (i.e., proportion of attached glochidia that successfully metamorphosed to the juvenile mussel stage) on Etheostoma exile (mean ± SE: 44 ± 9%) and Cottus bairdi (42 ± 6%) than on Etheostoma nigrum (10 ± 3%) and 2) L. fasciola glochidia had significantly higher metamorphosis rates on Micropterus dolomieu (82 ± 2%) and Micropterus salmoides (63 ± 8%) than on C. bairdi (37 ± 7%). Variation in the co-occurrence of mussels and their primary vs marginal host species (i.e., high vs low infestation and metamorphosis rates, respectively) appears to explain the distributions and abundances of these 2 endangered mussels in Canada. An understanding of the quality of different host fishes of endangered mussel species is needed to facilitate effective conservation strategies.

Kelly A. McNichols, Gerald L. Mackie, and Josef D. Ackerman "Host fish quality may explain the status of endangered Epioblasma torulosa rangiana and Lampsilis fasciola (Bivalvia∶Unionidae) in Canada," Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30(1), (14 December 2010). https://doi.org/10.1899/10-063.1
Received: 5 May 2010; Accepted: 1 October 2010; Published: 14 December 2010
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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