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SFS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, June 5, 2024
13:30 - 15:00

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C16 Restoration Ecology

13:30 - 13:45 | Independence Ballroom B | CHANGING FRESHWATER MUSSEL COMMUNITIES IN THE UPPER SANGAMON RIVER, ILLINOIS

6/05/2024  |   13:30 - 13:45   |  Independence Ballroom B

Changing Freshwater Mussel Communities in the Upper Sangamon River, Illinois A research collaborative that includes researchers, nonprofits, and an army of community scientists has undertaken a 10-year freshwater mussel monitoring program in the upper Sangamon River. We will review the findings from the first three seasons of this program, including observations of 22 species and the collection of a state endangered species that had not been seen live in the watershed for over 30 years. Current mussel community composition will be compared with those from quantitative collections made in 2009-11, 1987-89, and 1957. In addition, the impact of watershed development on species richness will be evaluated based on museum collections dating back to 1918.

Danelle Haake (Primary Presenter/Author), National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, dhaake@lc.edu;

Hannah Griffis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, hgriffis@lc.edu;

Sarah Douglass (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Illinois Natural History Survey, sabales@illinois.edu;

Bruce Colravy (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Upper Sangamon River Conservancy, not available;

13:45 - 14:00 | Independence Ballroom B | KNOWLEDGE GAPS IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF PHOSPHORUS RETENTION IN WETLANDS: EFFECTS OF STRUCTURAL FEATURES AND MONITORING APPROACHES ON ESTIMATES OF P RETENTION

6/05/2024  |   13:45 - 14:00   |  Independence Ballroom B

Knowledge gaps in our understanding of phosphorus retention in wetlands: effects of structural features and monitoring approaches on estimates of P retention Constructed wetlands are increasingly being used to mitigate non-point source phosphorus pollution across landscapes, however there is not a clear understanding of what wetland features maximize their potential to mitigate phosphorus loads. Synthesis efforts have highlighted the importance of phosphorus loading and flow rates in determining the extent to which constructed wetlands remove phosphorus. However, critical wetland design features, such as the hydrologic regime, and the structural makeup of the wetland, have not been comprehensively studied. Additionally, varied monitoring methods (i.e., water vs. sediment sampling) and differences in temporal measurement resolution can bias phosphorus retention estimates. To address these knowledge gaps, we conducted a meta-analysis to disentangle the effect of design features, and monitoring on estimates of and variability in retention capacity of constructed wetlands. This combination will identify key gaps where existing data is inadequate to meaningfully inform wetland design, management, and monitoring for nutrient removal. At the same time, we aim to address variation in monitoring approaches for wetland phosphorus retention, potential biases on phosphorus budgets, and the trajectory of wetland systems where long-term monitoring data exists. Our early findings show that most studies measuring phosphorus retention by wetlands have been performed on flow-through wetlands. Additionally, over 60% of studies monitored wetlands for less than 3 years, and only a small proportion of studies collect data on nutrient retention during storm events. The findings of this analysis could provide data-driven recommendations for wetland restoration design and provide direction for future research on phosphorus retention by constructed wetlands.

Kenneth Anderson (Primary Presenter/Author), Kent State University, kande120@kent.edu;

Bishwodeep Adhikari (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kent State University, badhika6@kent.edu;

Christine Bahlai (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kent State University, cbahlai@kent.edu;

David Costello (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kent State University, dcostel3@kent.edu;

Lauren Kinsman-Costello (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kent State University, lkinsman@kent.edu;

Olivia Schloegel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kent State University, ojohns16@kent.edu;

Raissa Mendonca (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kent State University, rmarques@kent.edu;

Michael Back (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kent state university, mback@kent.edu;

14:00 - 14:15 | Independence Ballroom B | FRESHWATER MUSSEL PROPAGATION AT THE FAIRMOUNT WATER WORKS, PHILA., PA: A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO ADDRESS WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS IN URBAN WATERWAYS

6/05/2024  |   14:00 - 14:15   |  Independence Ballroom B

FRESHWATER MUSSEL PROPAGATION AT THE FAIRMOUNT WATER WORKS, PHILA., PA: A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO ADDRESS WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS IN URBAN WATERWAYS The overexploitation and modifications to freshwater habitats by humans are pervasive, causing considerable declines in biodiversity and rates of extinction compared to most terrestrial ecosystems. In particular, freshwater mussels (Order Unionida) are among the most imperiled taxa in the world, with approximately 40% of the species classified as near threatened, threatened or extinct. The ability of freshwater mussels to influence the biogeochemical properties of free-flowing and lentic systems, along with their sensitivity to anthropogenic stressors and fragile ecological status has recently gained considerable attention among the scientific community. Still, most research and management interests focus on species protection and conservation because of the high level of imperilment among North American unionids. Accordingly, little consideration has been directed towards the potential use of freshwater mussels to augment traditional pollution control measures, improve degraded water quality, and restore crucial ecosystem functions within novel urban habitats. The Philadelphia Water Department, in partnership with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, has developed the first municipally owned and operated freshwater mussel hatchery aimed at propagating and restoring native freshwater bivalves throughout urban regions of the Delaware River Watershed. Since 2018, this collaboration has performed multiple studies dedicated to increasing freshwater mussel production to ensure maximum likelihood of survival of these key species from laboratory incubation to pond rearing. Data obtained during all phases of propagation and rearing will provide valuable information that will be used to guide operations of the future large-scale production hatchery.

LANCE BUTLER (Primary Presenter/Author), Philadelphia Water Department, Lance.Butler@phila.gov;

Shannon Boyle (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Sage Services LLC, Shannon.Boyle@phila.gov;

Matthew Gentry (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, mgentry@delawareestuary.org;

Danielle Kreeger (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Partnership for the Delaware Estuary; The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, dkreeger@delawareestuary.org;

Roger Thomas (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, rlt47@drexel.edu;

14:15 - 14:30 | Independence Ballroom B | BEST PRACTICES FOR REINTRODUCTION: MITIGATING RISK FROM DISEASE DYNAMICS IN WILD POPULATIONS OF THE ENDANGERED LAUREL DACE

6/05/2024  |   14:15 - 14:30   |  Independence Ballroom B

BEST PRACTICES FOR REINTRODUCTION: MITIGATING RISK FROM DISEASE DYNAMICS IN WILD POPULATIONS OF THE ENDANGERED LAUREL DACE Freshwater animals globally face urgent threats that may require ex situ conservation actions. Existing guidelines for propagating and translocating freshwater fish recommend disease screening prior to release, but include no recommendations for managing natural disease in a captive population because of limited scientific knowledge for freshwater fish diseases. The recovery plan for Laurel Dace (Chrosomus saylori), a federally endangered species known from only eight streams in east Tennessee, recommended development of captive propagation protocols prior to further decline. During propagation, mycobacteriosis was detected in the wild-caught broodstock and was later documented in the F1 offspring. As a ubiquitously occurring pathogen, the mycobacteria may have originated from infected individuals brought in as broodstock. There is no known effective treatment for infected fish; thus, the captive population was deemed un-releasable by the USFWS. To assess prevalence of mycobacteria in the wild, we collected 320 individuals from a sympatric native species, the Western Blacknose Dace (Rhinichthys obtusus) for analysis over a two year period. We also took skin scrapes of 144 wild adult Laurel Dace to investigate whether a non-lethal test for mycobacterium adequately reflects levels of disease in the population compared to Western Blacknose Dace. Mycobacterium was documented at a low prevalence in the wild population of Laurel Dace using non-lethal sampling, indicating utility for expanding disease sampling for endangered fishes in the future. Our goal is to expand disease screenings for propagation practices to reduce situations where rare species cannot be released because of a wild-occurring disease outbreak.

Anna George (Primary Presenter/Author), Tennessee Aquarium, alg@tnaqua.org;

Stephen Bullard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Auburn University, ash.bullard@auburn.edu ;

Haley Dutton (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Auburn University, hzd0026@auburn.edu;

Bernard Kuhajda (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Tennessee Aquarium, brk@tnaqua.org;

14:30 - 14:45 | Independence Ballroom B | WATERSHED-PERSPECTIVES: FISH BIODIVERSITY PATTERNS IN SIX DRAINAGE BASINS OF THE HISTORICAL ACID-DAMAGED REGION OF NORTHEASTERN, ONTARIO, CANADA

6/05/2024  |   14:30 - 14:45   |  Independence Ballroom B

Watershed-perspectives: fish biodiversity patterns in six drainage basins of the historical acid-damaged region of northeastern, Ontario, Canada The smelting of metals began in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada in the late 19th century, with the majority of regional acid rain damage occurring between the 1920s and 1960s. Acidification damage to portions of northeastern Ontario can be predominately attributed to emissions from the operations in Greater Sudbury and partially from operations located further south. Over 7000 lakes in the region are believed to have been affected by acidification and biological recovery of native fishes has been slow. Historically, fish biodiversity has largely been assessed through surveys of larger lakes (> 100 ha). Such lakes tend to be located at lower elevations in drainage basins where pH recovery is expected to be faster, and natural recolonization and stocking events (both authorized and unauthorized) more frequent. Thus, our current approach may be overestimating fish biodiversity recovery at the drainage basin scale. We compared fish biodiversity measures in large lakes (> 100 ha), small lakes (<100 ha), and tributaries in six drainage basins covering a gradient in historical acidification in northeastern Ontario. Preliminary analyses have revealed significant differences in both species richness and Shannon’s diversity between drainage basins, with these measures being significantly lower in some acid-recovering waterbodies. Assessing fish biodiversity patterns at the drainage basin scale contributes to the advancement of ecosystem assessment methodologies, and will refine our understanding of acidification recovery dynamics and inform targeted conservation efforts.

Emily Fields (Primary Presenter/Author), Laurentian University, efields@laurentian.ca;

Tom Johnston (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, tjohnston@laurentian.ca;