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Determining the effect of multiple stressors (suspended sediment, temperature, nutrient loading) on the ecophysiology of SAR mussels under ecologically relevant flow conditions & Determining the habitat of juvenile SAR unionid mussels through the application of supply side ecology

Via the partnership fund, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has invested $257,517 over three years in projects at the University of Guelph related to species-at-risk science. These projects, led by Dr. Josef Daniel Ackerman at the University of Guelph’s Department of Integrative Biology, focuses on Great Lakes area freshwater, at-risk species of mussels. The first project examines how at-risk mussel species and common mussels that live in flowing water adapt to feeding on varying amounts of suspended sediment, and rates of water flow typical in their environment. The second project will model the potential paths of juvenile mussels that excyst from host fish and then use direct measurement of streambed shear stress to determine where to excavate in search of juvenile mussels.

Project Number:
Year: 2017, 2018, 2019
Partner: University of Guelph
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Josef Daniel Ackerman
Eco-region: Great lakes

A Fatmucket (Lampsilis siliquoidea) being held in the sediment chamber with its valves open and facing the oncoming water during feeding trials. Only ~1 cm of the mussel is exposed to the oncoming water at the top of the sediment chamber (Project 1).

A Fatmucket (Lampsilis siliquoidea) being held in the sediment chamber with its valves open and facing the oncoming water during feeding trials. Only ~1 cm of the mussel is exposed to the oncoming water at the top of the sediment chamber (Project 1).

A juvenile Wavy-Rayed Lampmussel (Lampsilis fasciola) with its foot out right before being placed in a flow chamber for feeding trials (Project 1).

A juvenile Wavy-Rayed Lampmussel (Lampsilis fasciola) with its foot out right before being placed in a flow chamber for feeding trials (Project 1).

Image of two Fatmuckets (Lampsilis siliquoidea) being held in our housing bins at the Hagen Aqualab on the University of Guelph campus (Project 1).

Image of two Fatmuckets (Lampsilis siliquoidea) being held in our housing bins at the Hagen Aqualab on the University of Guelph campus (Project 1).

Taking ground water samples with a push point piezometer (left) and measuring flow velocities using an ADV Flowtracker2 (right) along a sampling transect (Project 2).

Taking ground water samples with a push point piezometer (left) and measuring flow velocities using an ADV Flowtracker2 (right) along a sampling transect (Project 2).

A snapshot of some of our excavation equipment as we setup to move to the next excavation (Project 2).

A snapshot of some of our excavation equipment as we setup to move to the next excavation (Project 2).

A Snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra) found in our airlift excavations (Project 2).

A Snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra) found in our airlift excavations (Project 2).

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