The effects of salinity exposure on multiple life stages of a common freshwater mussel, Elliptio complanata

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 



There is growing concern over the effects of increased salinization on freshwater organisms, which are largely unknown for unionid mussels. Adult and larval Elliptio complanata were exposed to low-level salt concentrations to determine the effects on mussel survival, physiology, and reproduction. Adults were exposed to salt concentrations of 0 parts per thousand (ppt), 2 ppt, 4 ppt, and 6 ppt NaCl and monitored over 7 d for mortality. Treatment groups exposed to 6 ppt and 4 ppt experienced 50% mortality at day 3 and day 4, respectively, with complete mortality by day 7. No mortality was observed in the other treatments. Adults were also exposed to sublethal salinity levels of 1 ppt and 2 ppt NaCl for 4 wk to determine physiological consequences of prolonged salinity exposure. Mussels exposed to 1 ppt and 2 ppt experienced reduced metabolic rates within the first 24 h of exposure that recovered to control levels in the 1-ppt treatment within 7 d. Metabolic recovery did not occur in the 2-ppt treatment by the end of 28 d. Glochidia exposed to 3-ppt NaCl during attachment to their host fish suffered a reduction in attachment success and metamorphosis, resulting in a 10-fold reduction in the number of juveniles produced per host fish. The present study demonstrates that low levels of salt can have a dramatic effect on the reproduction, physiology, and survival of freshwater mussels

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The effects of salinity exposure on multiple life stages of a common freshwater mussel, Elliptio complanata
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI 10.1002/etc.2381
Volume 32
Issue 12
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page 2849
Last page 2854
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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