1. Managing for threatened and endangered species under changing environmental conditions is a challenge faced by resource managers worldwide. Lack of basic knowledge of the biology and habitat requirements of these species can contribute to this difficulty, but is confounded by the limitations of working with rare (i.e. few individuals) species or unrefined methods for evaluating stress.
2. A weight of evidence approach was used to evaluate the thermal biology of the federally endangered dwarf wedgemussel (Alasmidonta heterodon), utilizing cumulative results from multiple experimental assessments, co-occurring species, and their host fish to begin defining thermal limits and optimal conditions for the species.
3. Results suggest that dwarf wedgemussel and its host fish are thermally sensitive species compared to other Atlantic-slope mussels, with lower critical thermal maximum and selection of reduced temperatures during choice experiments.
4. Physiological studies resulted in lack of statistical significance primarily due to low power which was a function of sample size, one unavoidable problem when studying rare species. Given these limitations, thermal choice and CTM may be more useful endpoints than physiological processes such as clearance and respiration rates when dealing with sample size limitations.
5. These results suggest that management strategies that avoid exposing dwarf wedgemussel and its thermally sensitive host fish to extreme temperatures could be important for species conservation.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||A weight-of-evidence approach for defining thermal sensitivity in a federally endangered species|
|Series title||Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems|
|Contributing office(s)||Leetown Science Center|
|State||New Jersey, Pennsylvania|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|