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Evaluating temperature- and host-dependent reproduction in the parasitic freshwater mussel Unio crassus

Author:
  • Lea D. Schneider
  • Anders Nilsson
  • E. Martin Österling
Publishing year: 2018
Language: English
Pages: 283-293
Publication/Series: Hydrobiologia
Volume: 810
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Adaptation to temperature regimes and host presence may enhance fitness in parasites. In an experimental study, we evaluated the timing of glochidia release by Unio crassus subjected to three spring water temperature regimes in the presence and absence of the host fish Cottus gobio. The timing of glochidia release was delayed at (i) constantly low temperatures (<10°C), in contrast to earlier and pronounced releases at (ii) natural temperature increases that level off at intermediate temperatures (10–15°C), and (iii) higher-than-normal temperatures (10–20°C). Mussels from treatment (i) that had not released glochidia during the experiment did so soon after being moved to the temperature in (ii), indicating a temperature threshold for glochidia release. Neither host fish presence nor the combined effect of temperature and host fish presence significantly affected the timing of glochidia release. The treatment with natural spring water temperatures indicated possible fitness benefits for U. crassus through combined effects of high intensities of glochidia releases and high survival of released glochidia. The furthered understanding of climate change effects on mussel and host phenology in seasonal environments, potentially inducing temporal mismatches of glochidia release to host availability, is key to mussel conservation.

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • Zoology
  • Freshwater mussel conservation
  • Glochidia release
  • Glochidia survival
  • Temperature fluctuations

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 0018-8158
Anders Nilsson
E-mail: anders [dot] nilsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor

Aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 83 65

+46 70 346 25 66

E-D130

50

Research group

Aquatic Ecology

Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

Main supervisor

Varpu Pärssinen

Assistant supervisor

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