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Freshwater Biology and Conservation


Our laboratory is dedicated to the study of the biology and conservation of freshwater mussels, unionids [Bivalvia:Unionidae]), a unique group of freshwater bivalves. These living filters were once prevalent throughout NorthAmerica, where more than 290 species have been documented. A uniqueaspect of their lifecycle, the attachment of the larval stage(glochidia) to the gills or fins of a fish distinguishs them from otherfreshwater and marine bivalves. This obligate relationship betweenmussel larvae and host supports the metamorphosis of larvae tojuveniles. Freshwater mussels are among the most imperiled groups of animals on the planet. Our efforts are conducted in cooperation with colleagues representing numerous local municipal, state, and federal agencies, universities, foundations and local community groups (our partners) all working collectively to enhance our understanding of freshwater mussel biology and support their conservation (read more about their decline and conservation...).    WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT FRESHWATER MUSSELS? 

Basic Biology


Life Cycle
Amazing Videos and Images
Status and Distribution
life cycle
 Villosa delumbis Pondmussel map 
Atlantic Slope Species Little Tennessee Watershed Proj
 Mussels in Ukraine
James Spineymussel LittleT


Captive Propagation

The Propagation Process The Mussel Barn The Hatcheries
Gravid mussel
Mussel barn
Marion hatchery1
Species propagated  Carolina Heelsplitter
 Role of Aquatic Insects
Villosa delumbis L decorata glochidia

 AECL Projects

Diagnostic Techniques Food Web Dynamics Microbial Communities
hemolymph collection
I-Robot Clam Monitor  LittleT
Effects of Bridges and Culverts Effects of PCBs
heelsplitter Bridge construction PCB-Corbicula

Aquatic Epidemiology Conservation Laboratory