Standardizing a non-lethal method for characterizing the reproductive status and larval development of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoida)

Journal of Visualized Experiments
By: , and 

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Abstract

Actively monitoring the timing, development, and reproductive patterns of endangered species is critical when managing for population recovery. Freshwater mussels are among the most imperiled organisms in the world, but information about early larval (glochidial) development and brooding periods is still lacking for many species. Previous studies have focused on the complex life history stage when female mussels are ready to parasitize host fish, but few studies have focused on the brooding period and timing of larval development. The protocol described here allows researchers to non-lethally evaluate the state of gravidity for female mussels. The results of this study show that this method does not affect a female mussel’s ability to stay gravid or become gravid again after sampling has been performed. The advantage of this method may permit its use on federally threatened or endangered species or other populations of high conservation concern. This protocol can be adapted for use on both preserved or live individuals and was tested on a variety of mussel species. The database provided is a repository for a breadth of information on timing of reproductive habits and will facilitate future freshwater mussel research, conservation, and recovery efforts.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Standardizing a non-lethal method for characterizing the reproductive status and larval development of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoida)
Series title Journal of Visualized Experiments
DOI 10.3791/60244
Volume 152
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher JoVE
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description e60244