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Denic M.,TU Munich | Taeubert J.-E.,Bezirk Niederbayern | Lange M.,PLD Vogtland | Thielen F.,Natur and oEmwelt Fondation Hellef fir dNatur | And 3 more authors.
Limnologica | Year: 2015

The freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is a highly specialized and sensitive freshwater bivalve, whose survival in the juvenile phase is indicative of high quality habitats. This contribution investigates the use of juvenile freshwater pearl mussels as bioindicators, considering the influence of mussel stock and study stream conditions on juvenile performance, as described by survival and growth rates. A standardized cross experiment was carried out investigating juvenile performance in four different pearl mussel stocks originating from the Rhine, Danube and Elbe drainages, representing distinct genetic conservation units. The juveniles were exposed in five study streams which were selected to integrate pearl mussel streams with different water qualities and recruitment status of the mussel population. Per study stream, five standard mesh cages containing an equal number of 20 (10 × 2) juvenile pearl mussels per stock in separate chambers were installed. Survival and growth rates of juveniles were checked after three months (i.e. before their first winter) and after nine months (i.e. after their first winter). Mussel stock and study stream conditions significantly influenced juvenile performance. Growth rates were determined by study stream conditions and increased with stream water temperature, organic carbon and C/N ratios. Survival rates varied stock-specifically, indicating different levels of local adaptation to their native streams. Due to the detection of stream-specific differences in juvenile performance, freshwater pearl mussels appear suitable as bioindicators. However, a careful consideration of stock-specificity is necessary to avoid false interpretation of bioindication results. The comparison of stock-specific survival in native versus non-native streams implicates that exposure of juveniles outside their native habitats is able to increase breeding success or else serve for risk spreading in breeding programs. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH.


Denic M.,TU Munich | Taeubert J.-E.,Bezirk Niederbayern | Lange M.,PLD Vogtland | Thielen F.,Natur and Emwelt Fondation Hellef fir dNatur | And 3 more authors.
Limnologica | Year: 2014

The freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is a highly specialized and sensitive freshwater bivalve, whose survival in the juvenile phase is indicative of high quality habitats. This contribution investigates the use of juvenile freshwater pearl mussels as bioindicators, considering the influence of mussel stock and study stream conditions on juvenile performance, as described by survival and growth rates. A standardized cross experiment was carried out investigating juvenile performance in four different pearl mussel stocks originating from the Rhine, Danube and Elbe drainages, representing distinct genetic conservation units. The juveniles were exposed in five study streams which were selected to integrate pearl mussel streams with different water qualities and recruitment status of the mussel population. Per study stream, five standard mesh cages containing an equal number of 20 (10 × 2) juvenile pearl mussels per stock in separate chambers were installed. Survival and growth rates of juveniles were checked after three months (i.e. before their first winter) and after nine months (i.e. after their first winter). Mussel stock and study stream conditions significantly influenced juvenile performance. Growth rates were determined by study stream conditions and increased with stream water temperature, organic carbon and C/N ratios. Survival rates varied stock-specifically, indicating different levels of local adaptation to their native streams. Due to the detection of stream-specific differences in juvenile performance, freshwater pearl mussels appear suitable as bioindicators. However, a careful consideration of stock-specificity is necessary to avoid false interpretation of bioindication results. The comparison of stock-specific survival in native versus non-native streams implicates that exposure of juveniles outside their native habitats is able to increase breeding success or else serve for risk spreading in breeding programs. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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