Monday, June 5, 2017
14:00 - 15:45

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14:00 - 14:15: / 305A A NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR THE CONSERVATION OF NATIVE FRESHWATER MOLLUSKS: A BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE

6/05/2017  |   14:00 - 14:15   |  305A

A NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR THE CONSERVATION OF NATIVE FRESHWATER MOLLUSKS: A BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE In 1998, a strategy document outlining the most pressing issues facing the conservation of freshwater mussels was published. Beginning in 2011, the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society began updating that strategy, including broadening the scope to include freshwater snails. The revised strategy states that to effectively conserve freshwater mollusks, we need to (1) increase knowledge of their distribution and taxonomy at multiple scales; (2) address the impacts of past, ongoing, and newly emerging stressors; (3) understand and conserve the quantity and quality of suitable habitat; (4) understand their ecology at the individual, population, and community levels; (5) restore abundant and diverse populations until they are self-sustaining; (6) identify the ecosystem services provided by mollusks and their habitats; (7) strengthen advocacy for mollusks and their habitats; (8) educate and train the conservation community and future generations of resource managers and researchers; (9) seek long-term funding to support conservation efforts; and (10) coordinate development of an updated and revised strategy every 15 years. Collectively addressing these issues should strengthen conservation efforts for North American freshwater mollusks.

Teresa Newton (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Geological Survey, tnewton@usgs.gov;


Greg Cope ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), North Carolina State University, gcope@ncsu.edu;


Patricia Morrison ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, patricia_morrison@fws.gov;


Caryn C. Vaughn ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Oklahoma, cvaughn@ou.edu;


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14:15 - 14:30: / 305A IDENTIFICATION OF RESEARCH PRIORITIES FOR NORTH AMERICAN FRESHWATER GASTROPODS

6/05/2017  |   14:15 - 14:30   |  305A

IDENTIFICATION OF RESEARCH PRIORITIES FOR NORTH AMERICAN FRESHWATER GASTROPODS Recent conservation assessments have estimated freshwater gastropods to be among the most imperiled major faunal group in North America. More than half of 716 recognized species are either extinct (70) or imperiled (386). Nearly one third of North American species have been described since 1987, most with highly localized distributions, making them vulnerable to extinction. Historically incomplete species descriptions, poorly defined distributions, and significant biological differences across 16 different families, have made research progress slow. Three major research needs predominate: modern systematic and status reviews, diet and life history requirements, and water quality limitations, including toxicological data. Taxonomy of most groups is still based on unreliable shell characters, and modern revisions would facilitate more accurate conservation status reviews. Data concerning population demographics, reproductive cues and uptake requirements are limited for many families. Freshwater gastropod toxicology remains poorly studied, with most research completed on common, less sensitive species. Freshwater gastropods are highly sensitive to pollutants, and recent EPA Ammonia Water Quality Criteria were lowered partly due to riverine gastropod sensitivity. These research tasks are critical to the conservation of this globally significant fauna.

Paul Johnson (Primary Presenter/Author), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, paul.johnson@dcnr.alabama.gov;


Nathan Whelan ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Fish and Wildlife Service, nathan_whelan@fws.gov;


Jennifer Archambault ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), North Carolina State University, jmarcham@ncsu.edu;


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14:30 - 14:45: / 305A RECENT STRIDES IN PROPAGATION AND CULTURE OF NATIVE FRESHWATER MUSSELS TO RESTORE DECLINING POPULATIONS

6/05/2017  |   14:30 - 14:45   |  305A

RECENT STRIDES IN PROPAGATION AND CULTURE OF NATIVE FRESHWATER MUSSELS TO RESTORE DECLINING POPULATIONS Freshwater mussels are highly endangered in North America; over the last 27 years efforts to improve their conservation have resulted in improvements in propagation and culture techniques. In 2004 there were 7 established freshwater mussel propagation facilities in the United States and Canada and today there are at least 25. This surge was driven by the listing of species at the state and federal level, publication of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Freshwater Mussels in 1998 (updated in 2016) and the implementation of a policy for controlled propagation by the USFWS and NMFS in 2000. Three freshwater mussel propagation and culture workshops have taken place since 2002, the USFWS hosts a yearly class and a manual of protocols for propagation of native mussels will be published this year. Refinement of techniques for holding host fish, producing juveniles without hosts, wild and laboratory grow out and novel marking methods have resulted in hundreds of thousands of cultured mussels being used for restoration of populations in rivers across the United States, Canada and Europe.

Megan Bradley (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Genoa National Fish Hatchery, megan_bradley@fws.gov;


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14:45 - 15:00: / 305A AN OVERVIEW OF THE SENSITIVITY OF FRESHWATER MUSSELS TO AQUATIC CONTAMINANTS

6/05/2017  |   14:45 - 15:00   |  305A

AN OVERVIEW OF THE SENSITIVITY OF FRESHWATER MUSSELS TO AQUATIC CONTAMINANTS The study of the effects of environmental pollutants on freshwater mollusks has advanced substantially over the past 25 years. Progress has been made on multiple topics including contaminant monitoring, in situ studies, surveys, laboratory toxicity testing, and the mechanistic understanding of physiological and biochemical effects of pollutants. The earlier field studies were often largely descriptive and monitored accumulation of contaminants in adult mussels, while current field studies often utilize captively-propagated juvenile and sub-adult mussels to conduct specific, in-situ assessments. Concurrent with advances in field studies have been laboratory toxicity studies. Early toxicity tests were often short-term exposures (i.e., 1-4 d) with glochidia or in vitro cultured juveniles at few laboratories. Today, the short-term and longer-term (e.g., 28 d) early life stage tests have been standardized and are routinely performed by many laboratories, with recent advances in in vitro propagation and partial lifecycle testing expanding the testing framework. This presentation will summarize the recent advances in mollusk toxicology, as well as highlight future directions for the science and its application to conservation.

Greg Cope (Primary Presenter/Author), North Carolina State University, greg_cope@ncsu.edu;


Tom Augspurger ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Fish and Wildlife Service, tom_augspurger@fws.gov;


Robert Bringolf ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Georgia, bringo@uga.edu;


Patricia Gillis ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Environment Canada, patty.gillis@canada.ca;


Teresa Newton ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Geological Survey, tnewton@usgs.gov;


Ning Wang ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Geological Survey, nwang@usgs.gov;


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15:00 - 15:15: / 305A CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY HAVE DRIVEN INCREASED USE OF CONSERVATION GENETICS TO INFORM MANAGEMENT OF IMPERILED FRESHWATER MUSSELS

6/05/2017  |   15:00 - 15:15   |  305A

CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY HAVE DRIVEN INCREASED USE OF CONSERVATION GENETICS TO INFORM MANAGEMENT OF IMPERILED FRESHWATER MUSSELS Quantifying genetic variation of imperiled species has been a concern of conservation agencies. Changing technology has led to increased use of genetic techniques for informing conservation of freshwater mussels. Early attempts to describe variation used morphological characteristics, especially shell shape. However, these traits are notoriously plastic, leading to poor resolution of species boundaries and among-population variation. Because biochemical genetic techniques describe variation at a small number of loci, they have limited abilities to resolve genetic diversity and divergence, and the presence of species boundaries. Phylogeographic studies and DNA barcoding to delimit species were feasible once DNA sequencing methods became inexpensive. Recent development of population genomic approaches promises to expand coverage of the genome and thus, provide higher resolution of population diversity and divergence, while also identifying signatures of natural selection. Over the past two decades, application of genetic principles for the conservation and recovery of imperiled species has greatly increased. This is seen in the development of recovery plans, creation of strategies for captive propagation and reintroduction, and studies examining biological factors such as gene flow and isolation among populations.

DAVID J BERG (Primary Presenter/Author), MIAMI UNIVERSITY, bergdj@miamioh.edu;


Kentaro Inoue ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Texas A&M University, kentaro.inoue@ag.tamu.edu;


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15:15 - 15:30: / 305A AN OVERVIEW OF SAMPLING DESIGNS FOR ASSESSING MUSSEL ASSEMBLAGES IN LARGE RIVERS

6/05/2017  |   15:15 - 15:30   |  305A

AN OVERVIEW OF SAMPLING DESIGNS FOR ASSESSING MUSSEL ASSEMBLAGES IN LARGE RIVERS Over the past 50 years, sampling for freshwater unionid mussels has evolved from qualitative searches for species composition, presence/absence, and relative abundance to quantitative probabilistic designs. Most current sampling designs combine reconnaissance, qualitative, semi-quantitative, and quantitative sampling techniques. Reconnaissance, semi-quantitative, and qualitative sampling are considered informal, as data obtained from these methods is biased by the sampler’s ability to find mussels and field conditions, and data is difficult to compare statistically over space and time. However, these approaches are useful for efficiently determining distribution and detecting rare species. Quantitative sampling is more labor intensive, but can be applied to a variety of probabilistic designs that are statistically comparable temporally and spatially. How these techniques are applied is dependent on study objectives and data goals. “Normal” unionid abundance and distribution, which vary with stream size and geographic location, should also be considered in selecting the appropriate sample techniques. Many states have developed sampling protocols to standardize sampling and provide guidance on the level of effort required to achieve data goals within their geographic area.

Heidi Dunn (Primary Presenter/Author), Ecological Specialists, Inc., HDunn@ecologicalspecialists.com;


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