Lab and Field Study of Glycogen, Percent Tissue, and Tissue Density of Quadrula metanevra

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Hills, Amber
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Middle Tennessee State University
Conservation of freshwater mussel biodiversity requires health data from both stressed sites and reference sites. This study explored differences in energetics and health indices of Quadrula metanevra mussels from a reference site in the laboratory, TWRA’s Cumberland River Aquatic Center (C-RAC), and in the field in the Tennessee River. Over one year, mussels were measured for life history measurements and glycogen concentrations. Health indices calculated were percent tissue and tissue density. No difference was found between basket-dwelling and sediment-dwelling mussels in the C-RAC, which provided evidence in support of using caged mussels in field studies. On average, Tennessee River mussels showed consistently higher values in foot and mantle glycogen concentrations, percent tissue, and tissue density, which could be from a consistent difference in water temperatures. Glycogen estimations from foot tissues seemed to show the least variability while doing the least harm to the individuals. Between glycogen and health indices, the most consistent similar results were found between foot and gill glycogen concentrations and tissue densities.
Biodiversity, Glycogen, Health index, Quadrula metanevra, Reference site, Unionidae