Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Louisiana
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Honig, A, M La Peyre, J. Supan. 2014. Seasonal gametogenesis of the ribbed mussel, Geukensia Granossissima, in southeastern Louisiana. Sexuality and Early Development in Aquatic Organisms 1:75-82.


Benthic intertidal bivalves play an essential role in estuarine ecosystems by contributing to habitat provision, water filtration, and host vegetation productivity. As such, ecosystem level changes that impact population distributions and persistence of local bivalve populations may have large ecosystem level consequences, making it important to better understand the population ecology of native bivalves. In order to determine potential impacts of shifting salinity and temperature regimes along the northern Gulf of Mexico, the seasonal timing of gametogenesis in the Gulf estuarine ribbed mussel, Geukensia granossisima, was examined across a salinity gradient in southeastern Louisiana, from July 2011 through October 2012. Ten mussels were randomly sampled monthly from low (~ 5) and high (~25) salinity marsh sites in southeastern Louisiana, and histologically processed to determine the seasonal progression of gametogenesis. Peak ripeness occurred at both sites between April and September, was positively correlated with temperature, and coincided with seasonal shifts in salinity. Mussels located in lower salinity waters demonstrated a shorter period of gametogenesis, and lower rates of ripeness indicating that changes in salinity regimes may impact long-term population dynamics.