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Title: Effects of increased commercial navigation traffic on freshwater mussels in the upper Mississippi river : 1989 studies
Authors: Miller, Andrew C.
Payne, Barry S.
Keywords: Freshwater mussels--Mississippi River--Effect of habitat modification on
Unionidae--Effect of sediments on
Inland navigation--Environmental aspects
Waterways--Environmental aspects
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station.
Series/Report no.: Technical Report;EL-91-3
Abstract: In 1988, the US Army Engineer District, St. Louis (CELMS) initiated a program to analyze the effects of commercial navigation traffic on freshwater mussels (Mollusca : Unionidae), especially the endangered Lampsilis higginsi in the upper Mississippi River (UMR). In 1989 mussels were collected using qualitative and quantitative methods (0.2S-sq-m total substrate samples) at dense and diverse beds in pool 24 (river mile (RM) 299), pool 14 (RM 505), and pool 10 (RM 635) of the UMR. Water velocity and suspended solids concentrations were measured immediately following vessel passage at beds in pools 10 and 14. An assessment of commercial navigation traffic effects will be based on a comparison of baseline data (1988-94) with information collected with less intensive sampling from 1994 to 2040. The UMR mussel fauna was dominated by Amblema plicata, which comprised 27.7 percent of the qualitative collection, and was found in 87.1 percent of the samples. Total numbers of the endangered L. higginsi were variable; this species comprised slightly less than 0.5 percent of the bivalve assemblage and ranked 22nd out of 26 species collected using qualitative methods. Total bivalve density ranged from 31.2 ± 25.7 (±SD) individuals/ sq n to 184.8 ± 33.3 individuals/sq mat 24 sites on three mussel beds. With the exception of the bed in pool 24, nearshore densities were about twice as high as farshore densities. Differences in relative abundance for dominant species, species diversity (1.0 to 2.3), and evenness (0.38 to 0.81), with respect to distance from shore were minor compared to inter-pool differences. Pool 24 mussel assemblages, both nearshore and farshore, were characterized by very low abundance of old individuals and high abundance of relatively young mussels. At sites in pool 14, large and relatively old mussels were abundant and dominated the assemblage; demography of nearshore and farshore assemblages was virtually identical. Biotic parameters such as relative species abundance, total density, species diversity, and species richness were similar in 1988 and 1989. Preliminary water velocity data following vessel passage at two mussel beds were obtained with Model 527 Marsh McBirney meters placed at nearshore (approximately 200 ft from shore) and farshore (approximately 400 ft from shore). Data indicated that a commercial vessel that passes within 500 to 800 ft of shore can cause a change of 1 to 2 fps for 50 to 200 sec immediately above the substrate-water interface near the center of the mussel bed.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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