QUANTIFICATION OF MOVEMENT BEHAVIORAL TRAITS OF FRESHWATER MUSSELS ACROSS VARYING COMMUNITY STRUCTURE: A MESOCOSM STUDY
Burrowing behavior of freshwater mussels is essential to their survival as benthic infauna in lotic systems. Few studies have aimed to quantify the influence of community structure on movement and burrowing behavior of freshwater mussels, and no studies to date have observed diel movement in freshwater mussels. Our study utilized a factorial design in mesocosms to quantify diel horizontal movement, vertical burrowing, and bioturbation across varying community structure. We used two species (Fusconaia cerina, Quadrula asperata) alone and in combination, crossed with two density treatments (15 indiv m-2, 30 indiv m-2), and replicated four times (6 treatments x 4 replicates = 24 mesocosms). Movement and burrowing was tracked every 12 hours over an 11-day period. A total of four 11-day trials were ran. In the future, we aim to expand these results to assess the influence of mussel movement traits on sediment biogeochemistry. Bioturbation has the potential to influence sediment biogeochemistry through the mixing of sediments. An understanding of mussel movement will inform future empirical studies on the influence of mussel traits, including bioturbation, on sediment biogeochemistry.
Zachary L. Nickerson (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Alabama, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Carla L. Atkinson ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Alabama, email@example.com;