Validation and transferability of fudnamental niche models of mussel communities and assessment of risks to mussel populations in Ozark River drainages.
July 2018 - June 2020
- Missouri Department of Conservation
We propose to transfer fundamental niche models of mussel concentrations (i.e., reaches of rivers with features that allow establishment of dense concentrations of multiple species of native unionid mussels) that have been developed in the Meramec River drainage to two contrasting Ozark Plateau river systems, the Gasconade and Little Black Rivers, and determine baseline occupancy of these areas for model validation. This is part of a long-term program to develop a comprehensive monitoring framework for freshwater mussels for Missouri that maximizes probability of species detection and distributional changes in mussel species while minimizing costs and man-hours dedicated to monitoring purposes. We have identified hydrogeomorphic characteristics that allow establishment of mussel beds; we now wish to test these models in the Gasconade River and Little Black River systems.