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Impacts of acute and chronic suspended solids exposure on juvenile freshwater mussels

October 21, 2023

Construction activities may affect adjacent water systems by introducing increased levels of suspended solids into the water body and may subsequently affect the survival and growth of freshwater mussels. We tested three sediment types from sites in Missouri, including Spring River sediment (SRS), Osage River bank clay soil (ORC), and quarried limestone from Columbia (LMT). We prepared series of suspensions of each sediment with total suspended solids concentrations ranging from 0 to 5000 mg/L. Juveniles from three mussel species, Fatmucket (Lampsilis siliquoidea), Arkansas Brokenray (Lampsilis reeveiana), and Washboard (Megalonaias nervosa) were exposed to these suspensions in both acute (96-h) and chronic (28-d) tests. No clear impact on survival was observed from the acute or chronic exposures, but chronic test showed that juvenile mussels' growth was strongly affected. Interestingly, growth was enhanced at lower levels of SRS and ORC (≤500 mg/L, p < 0.05), and the juvenile mussels exposed to 500 mg/L SRS exhibited approximately 60 % more dry weight than those reared in the control. LMT did not enhance growth. Growth was slowed by high concentrations (>1000 mg/L) of all three sediments, implying that high suspended solids levels could reduce survival in the long term. Our findings may help to inform regulations and guidelines for construction activities to minimize adverse effects on juvenile mussels.

Publication Year 2023
Title Impacts of acute and chronic suspended solids exposure on juvenile freshwater mussels
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.167606
Authors Wenyu Zhu, James L. Kunz, Eric Brunson, Christopher M. Barnhart, Henry Brown, Stephen E. McMurray, Andy Roberts, Christopher Shulse, Kathleen Trauth, Binbin Wang, Jeffery A. Steevens, Baolin Deng
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science of the Total Environment
Index ID 70250905
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center