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SFS Annual Meeting

Monday, May 21, 2018
14:00 - 15:30

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14:00 - 14:15: / 410 A JOINT SPECIES DISTRIBUTION MODELS: BIOTIC INTERACTIONS AND SCALE AFFECT FRESHWATER MUSSEL COMMUNITIES IN EAST TEXAS

5/21/2018  |   14:00 - 14:15   |  410 A

JOINT SPECIES DISTRIBUTION MODELS: BIOTIC INTERACTIONS AND SCALE AFFECT FRESHWATER MUSSEL COMMUNITIES IN EAST TEXAS Communities of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) occur in dense, multi-species beds. Recent single-scale models of fundamental niches have focused on abiotic factors determining presence and abundance of unionid species and communities. Few studies have incorporated the effects of interspecific species interactions and scale on the realized niches of unionids. We used Hierarchical Modeling of Species Communities to assess the impact of species interactions, environmental variables, and scale on unionid abundance. We sampled the abundances of 34 unionid species at 165 sites, across five river drainages in East Texas. We found that of the 561 potential species-species interactions, 284 were negative associations, while 277 were positive associations. Interactions varied in magnitude with a majority being weak (n=389), medium (n=146), then strong (n=26). These results suggest that unionid abundance in dense, species-rich beds is controlled by relatively few interspecific interactions. Average unionid response to environmental covariates explained 47% of variation in abundances. Across multiple spatial scales, differences between sites explained an additional 28% of the variance in unionid abundances. These results suggest development of conservation strategies for dense, species-rich communities should incorporate biotic interactions and scale-specific models to effectively manage unionid communities.

ROBERT A FRANCIS (Primary Presenter/Author), Miami University , francir3@miamioh.edu;


ASHLEY D WALTERS (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Miami University, dunithad@miamioh.edu;


NEIL B FORD (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Texas at Tyler, nford@uttyler.edu;


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


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14:15 - 14:30: / 410 A ORDINATION ANALYSIS REVEALS THREE DISTINCT FRESHWATER MUSSEL ASSEMBLAGES CORRELATED WITH RIVER MILE AND AGRICULTURE IN THE BLACK RIVER, MISSOURI AND ARKANSAS

5/21/2018  |   14:15 - 14:30   |  410 A

ORDINATION ANALYSIS REVEALS THREE DISTINCT FRESHWATER MUSSEL ASSEMBLAGES CORRELATED WITH RIVER MILE AND AGRICULTURE IN THE BLACK RIVER, MISSOURI AND ARKANSAS Biogeographical classification and macro-ecology pattern analyses can be useful in understanding distributions of organisms and aid in conservation and management actions. The objectives of this study were to determine if there are distinct freshwater mussel assemblage community patterns along the upstream to downstream gradient of the Black River in Missouri and Arkansas and to determine if there were any environmental parameters that correlated with these community patterns. To meet our objectives, we conducted a Non-Metric Multi-Dimensional Scaling (NMDS) analysis on 63 mussel survey sites sampled between 1990 and 2003 from river mile 50.6 to 265.5. Our NMDS results were then correlated with sub-watershed characteristics (e.g. geology, hydrology, and land use). Our results revealed three distinct Black River mussel assemblages generically representing an upstream Ozark Highlands grouping, a midstream upper Mississippi Alluvial Plain grouping, and a downstream lower Mississippi Alluvial Plain grouping. These distinct assemblages correlated primarily with river mile (0.6315) and river mile plus percent agriculture (0.6690). These results are consistent with our biogeographical expectations that mussel distributions are indirectly related to fish distributions due to the fish and mussel host-parasite relationship, respectively, and are influenced by watershed drainage area.

Alan Christian (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Massachusetts Boston, alan.christian@umb.edu;


Sean McCanty (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Massachusetts Boston, seanmccanty@gmail.com;


Thomas Dimino (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Massachusetts Boston, thomas.dimino001@umb.edu;


Helenmary Hotz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Massachusetts Boston, helenmary.hotz@umb.edu;


Delilah Bethel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Massachusetts Boston, delilah.bethel@umb.edu;


Stephen McMurray (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Missouri Department of Conservation, Stephen.McMurray@mdc.mo.gov;


John Harris (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Arkansas State University, onibob1@gmail.com;


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14:30 - 14:45: / 410 A NON-LETHAL TECHNIQUES TO EVALUATE UNIONID HEALTH WITH APPLICATION FOR ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF CONTAMINANTS: MAUMEE RIVER BASIN, OHIO, USA

5/21/2018  |   14:30 - 14:45   |  410 A

NON-LETHAL TECHNIQUES TO EVALUATE UNIONID HEALTH WITH APPLICATION FOR ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF CONTAMINANTS: MAUMEE RIVER BASIN, OHIO, USA Unionids are imperiled freshwater taxa that provide ecosystem services associated with water quality. We calculated the condition index (CI) and estimated age via external annuli of Lampsilis siliquoidea and Elliptio dilatata, residing in three tributaries (Blanchard River (BL), Beaver Creek (BE), and Swan Creek (SC)) of the Maumee River, OH. Our results established a positive correlation between non-lethal estimates and lethal sampling with regards to CI and age. We found unionids had greater CIs and were generally older in BL dominated by agriculture, than in SC with suburban influence. Female and male unionid age was similar, however, females were older than average in BL and males were younger than average in SC. Our preliminary data suggests unionid health may be impacted differently by exposure to chemical groups associated with either agricultural or urban use, warranting further research. This research shows the utility of using CI and enumeration of external annuli, as non-lethal methods to calculate relative health and estimate the age of unionid populations. Further, we demonstrate that these tools can be used to help assess if contaminants are impacting the health of unionids in this and other watersheds.

Nicole Dennis (Primary Presenter/Author), Central Michigan University, denni3n@cmich.edu;


Mandy Annis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Fish & Wildlife Service, Michigan Ecological Services Field Office, mandy_annis@fws.gov;


Daelyn Woolnough (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Central Michigan University, wooln1d@cmich.edu;


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14:45 - 15:00: / 410 A QUANTITATIVE FRESHWATER MUSSELS SURVEYS (BIVALVIA:UNIONIDA) IN THE LOWER STRAWBERRY RIVER, AR

5/21/2018  |   14:45 - 15:00   |  410 A

QUANTITATIVE FRESHWATER MUSSELS SURVEYS (BIVALVIA:UNIONIDA) IN THE LOWER STRAWBERRY RIVER, AR The Strawberry River, a tributary of the Black River in the White River drainage in Arkansas, historically hosted 39 species of freshwater mussels. The objectives of this study were to evaluate environmental factors that drive species composition and establish a population baseline for each species and for total assemblage population. Freshwater mussel assemblages of the lower Strawberry River were assessed quantitatively. Biodiversity in the Strawberry River consisted of 34 species recorded from four sites, including Cyclonaias nodulata and Lampsilis siliquoidea, which had not been previously encountered in the system. Abundance ranged from 4,632 to 6,708 individuals/assemblage. Density varied from 6.3 to 19.2 individuals/m² with a mean of 15.5 for all sites. Overall, Cyclonaias pustulosa (17.6%), Pleurobema sintoxia (13.2%) and Tritogonia verrucosa (12.5%) were the dominant species in the assemblages sampled. Two federally protected species were found during the surveys, Theliderma cylindrica and Leptodea leptodon. Theliderma cylindrica comprised 3.4% of the total sampled individuals, and L. leptodon comprised only 0.3%. Species composition changes was related to substrate size variation. Overall, the Strawberry River provides diverse habitat and sustains high freshwater mussel diversity; however, threats to freshwater mussel assemblages are noticeable in the river .

John Harris (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Arkansas State University, onibob1@gmail.com;


Jennifer Bouldin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Arkansas State University, jbouldin@astate.edu;


Irene Sanchez Gonzalez (Primary Presenter/Author), Arkansas State University, irene.sanchezg@smail.astate.edu;


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15:00 - 15:15: / 410 A EFFECTS OF SUSPENDED SOLIDS AND SALINITY ON VALVE CLOSURE OF TWO RARE MUSSEL SPECIES FROM CENTRAL TEXAS.

5/21/2018  |   15:00 - 15:15   |  410 A

EFFECTS OF SUSPENDED SOLIDS AND SALINITY ON VALVE CLOSURE OF TWO RARE MUSSEL SPECIES FROM CENTRAL TEXAS. Valve closure by mussels in response to stressors has the potential to affect feeding and respiration. We used valvometry to determine whether valve closure was induced by increases in suspended solids or salinity for two candidate mussel species– Cyclonaias petrina and C. houstonensis– endemic to Texas. Mussels were placed in a MosselMonitor and valve movements recorded every 10 seconds for five days. Days 1-3 served as an acclimation period, day 4 served as a control (no sediment or salt added) and day 5 served as the experimental period. During the experimental period, either sediment or salt was added at a constant rate to generate a 6 - 11 hour ramping period during which suspended solids reached a maximum concentration of ~250 mg/L (~70 NTU), or salinity reached a maximum of 4 ppt. We observed markedly different effects between stressors. Mean valve opening decreased only slightly even at excessively high concentrations of suspended solids, but valves closed almost completely in response to increasing salinity. In natural populations, increasing salinity is more likely to negatively affect feeding and respiration via valve-closure than rapid increases in turbidity.

Ryan Fluharty (Primary Presenter/Author), Auburn University, rsf0015@auburn.edu;


James Stoeckel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Auburn University, jimstoeckel@auburn.edu;


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15:15 - 15:30: / 410 A COMPARISON OF ENZYMATIC THERMAL TOLERANCE AMONG RARE AND COMMON MUSSEL SPECIES OF CENTRAL TEXAS

5/21/2018  |   15:15 - 15:30   |  410 A

COMPARISON OF ENZYMATIC THERMAL TOLERANCE AMONG RARE AND COMMON MUSSEL SPECIES OF CENTRAL TEXAS Climate change is expected to drive warming temperatures in many southern states. We hypothesized that ESA candidate mussel species in Texas may be more susceptible to thermal stress, due to reduced intraspecific diversity and range, than common species. We used the electron transport system (ETS) assay to examine intra and interspecific patterns in thermal performance of respiratory enzymes of four rare species (Cyclonaias petrina, C. houstonensis, Lampsilis bracteata, and Fusconaia mitchelli) and two widespread species (Amblema plicata and Lampsilis teres). Preliminary analysis revealed significant differences in enzymatic thermal tolerance and intraspecific variation among the six species tested. Optimal temperatures and hypothesized temperature-of-chaperone-activation were highest for two of the rare species (C. petrina and C. houstonensis), intermediate for A. plicata, and lowest for L. teres. Similar results were found for intraspecific variation in enzymatic thermal tolerance. Regulatory and management strategies to reduce thermal stress should be tailored to individual species of interest, due to significant variation in thermal tolerance among species. However, it does not appear to be the case that rare species are necessarily more susceptible to thermal stress than common species.

Austin Haney (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Auburn University, arh0093@auburn.edu;


Hisham Abdelrahman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University, hisham@auburn.edu;


Brian Helms (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Troy University, helmsb@troy.edu;


Jim Stoeckel (Primary Presenter/Author), Auburn University, jas0018@auburn.edu;


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