Relationship of biotic and abiotic factors to recruitment patterns in Margaritifera m
By E. Martin Osterling, Larry A. Greenberg, Bjorn L. Arvidsson
Biological Conservation, Volume 141, Issue 5, May 2008, Pages 1365-1370, ISSN 0006-3207, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2008.03.004.
We investigated relationships of biotic and abiotic factors to recruitment patterns of the endangered freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) in 10 Swedish streams. We found that the maximum proportion of gravid mussels did not differ between streams with and without recent recruitment. Moreover, the mean glochidial load on trout (Salmo trutta), which was positively related to adult mussel density, did not differ significantly between these stream types. Thus, the larval stages of the freshwater pearl mussel were not related to recruitment failure. Instead, recruitment is probably hindered at the next stage in the life history of the mussels, the benthic stage, and may be related to sedimentation as turbidity was four times greater in streams lacking recent recruitment than in streams with recent recruitment. Furthermore, we found that juvenile mussel density was positively related to the number of glochidial infections per stream area in streams with ongoing recruitment, indicating that successful recruitment in these streams may depend on both mussel and trout density. Future research should thus examine biotic interactions between mussels and trout as well as the effects of sedimentation on benthic-living mussels.
Keywords: Parasite; Host; Margaritifera; Glochidia larvae; Salmo trutta; Turbidity