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Effects of mussel and host fish density on reproduction potential of a threatened unionoid mussel : prioritization of conservation locations in management trade-offs

Schneider, Lea D.; Nilsson, P. Anders LU ; Höjesjö, Johan and Österling, E. Martin (2019) In Biodiversity and Conservation 28(2). p.259-273
Abstract

Management decisions in conservation of threatened species require trading off social needs against biodiversity values, including the prioritization of conservation locations, i.e. where conservation efforts should take place. To improve conservation decisions for the thick-shelled river mussel, Unio crassus, a highly threatened temporary parasite on fish, we performed a field study on how mussel and host fish density (European bullhead, Cottus gobio, and common minnow, Phoxinus phoxinus) affect reproduction potential of the mussel at different sites along a river. We assumed that the proportions of gravid mussels would be higher at high mussel density, and result in enhanced glochidia (mussel larvae) encapsulation rates on fish. We... (More)

Management decisions in conservation of threatened species require trading off social needs against biodiversity values, including the prioritization of conservation locations, i.e. where conservation efforts should take place. To improve conservation decisions for the thick-shelled river mussel, Unio crassus, a highly threatened temporary parasite on fish, we performed a field study on how mussel and host fish density (European bullhead, Cottus gobio, and common minnow, Phoxinus phoxinus) affect reproduction potential of the mussel at different sites along a river. We assumed that the proportions of gravid mussels would be higher at high mussel density, and result in enhanced glochidia (mussel larvae) encapsulation rates on fish. We also expected the highest ‘glochidia density’—a proxy for the potential number of recruits per stream area, assessed by multiplying glochidia encapsulation rates on fish by fish density, to occur at high mussel density sites. Such river sites, producing many offspring and conveying important conservation values, may thus be prioritized. However, contrary to our assumptions, higher glochidia density and higher proportions of gravid mussels occurred at lower density mussel sites. We also found that P. phoxinus had higher glochidia encapsulation rates than C. gobio, possibly related to species-specific behavioural and life-history traits. Even so, glochidia density was similar for both fish species, reflecting comparable ecological functions in hosts. The results of this study suggest that mussel and host fish densities should be considered along with glochidia density in conservation prioritization and management trade-offs.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Endangered species, Host-parasite system, Host fish availability, Unio crassus, Unionoida
in
Biodiversity and Conservation
volume
28
issue
2
pages
259 - 273
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85055991288
ISSN
0960-3115
DOI
10.1007/s10531-018-1652-5
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b8d64e94-1f18-48e1-ad89-2a6c9a0c166b
date added to LUP
2018-11-19 11:13:54
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:36:31
@article{b8d64e94-1f18-48e1-ad89-2a6c9a0c166b,
  abstract     = {<p>Management decisions in conservation of threatened species require trading off social needs against biodiversity values, including the prioritization of conservation locations, i.e. where conservation efforts should take place. To improve conservation decisions for the thick-shelled river mussel, Unio crassus, a highly threatened temporary parasite on fish, we performed a field study on how mussel and host fish density (European bullhead, Cottus gobio, and common minnow, Phoxinus phoxinus) affect reproduction potential of the mussel at different sites along a river. We assumed that the proportions of gravid mussels would be higher at high mussel density, and result in enhanced glochidia (mussel larvae) encapsulation rates on fish. We also expected the highest ‘glochidia density’—a proxy for the potential number of recruits per stream area, assessed by multiplying glochidia encapsulation rates on fish by fish density, to occur at high mussel density sites. Such river sites, producing many offspring and conveying important conservation values, may thus be prioritized. However, contrary to our assumptions, higher glochidia density and higher proportions of gravid mussels occurred at lower density mussel sites. We also found that P. phoxinus had higher glochidia encapsulation rates than C. gobio, possibly related to species-specific behavioural and life-history traits. Even so, glochidia density was similar for both fish species, reflecting comparable ecological functions in hosts. The results of this study suggest that mussel and host fish densities should be considered along with glochidia density in conservation prioritization and management trade-offs.</p>},
  author       = {Schneider, Lea D. and Nilsson, P. Anders and Höjesjö, Johan and Österling, E. Martin},
  issn         = {0960-3115},
  keyword      = {Endangered species,Host-parasite system,Host fish availability,Unio crassus,Unionoida},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {259--273},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Biodiversity and Conservation},
  title        = {Effects of mussel and host fish density on reproduction potential of a threatened unionoid mussel : prioritization of conservation locations in management trade-offs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-018-1652-5},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2019},
}