Distribution of native mussel (unionidae) assemblages in coastal areas of Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and connecting channels, twenty-five years after a dreissenid invasion

Northeastern Naturalist
David T. Zanatta1*, Jonathan M. Bossenbroek2, Lyubov E. Burlakova3, Todd D. Crail2, Ferenc de Szalay4, Traci A. Griffith1, Douglas Kapusinski4, Alexander Y. Karatayev3, Robert A. Krebs5, Elizabeth S. Meyer6, Wendy L. Paterson1, Trevor J. Prescott5, Matthew T. Rowe1, Don W. Schloesser7, and Mary C. Walsh6
By: , and 

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Abstract

Over the past 25 years, unionid mussels in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America have been adversely impacted by invasive dreissenid mussels, which directly (e.g., by attachment to unionid shells) and indirectly (e.g., by competing for food) cause mortality. Despite the invasion, unionids have survived in several areas in the presence of dreissenid mussels. We investigated current spatial patterns in these native mussel refuges based on surveys for unionid mussels across 48 sampling locations (141 sites) in 2011 and 2012, and documented species abundance and diversity in coastal areas of lakes St. Clair and Erie. The highest-quality assemblages of native mussels (densities, richness, and diversity) appear to be concentrated in the St. Clair delta, where abundance continues to decline, as well as in in Thompson Bay of Presque Isle in Lake Erie and in just a few coastal wetlands and drowned river-mouths in the western basin of Lake Erie. The discovery of several new refuge areas suggests that unionids have a broader distribution within the region than previously thought.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Distribution of native mussel (unionidae) assemblages in coastal areas of Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and connecting channels, twenty-five years after a dreissenid invasion
Series title Northeastern Naturalist
DOI 10.1656/045.022.0115
Volume 22
Issue 1
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher BioOne
Publisher location Steuben, ME
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 223
Last page 235
Country Canada, United States
Other Geospatial Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N