Habitat selection and movement behaviour of Yellow Lampmussel (Lampsilis cariosa) in the Wolastoq River catchment, New Brunswick

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University of New Brunswick


The influence of environmental stimuli on the ecology of freshwater mussels is still poorly understood. For Yellow Lampmussel (Lampsilis cariosa, YLM), I predicted that there are certain thresholds of environmental stimuli (e.g., temperatures and water levels) that may drive refuge seeking behaviour via vertical or horizontal migration. My thesis objectives were to 1) determine the thermal habitat use and depth of sediment burrowing behaviour in YLM and 2) compare YLM movement behaviour between sites to explore the influence of temperature and water level on movement. YLM (n=40) were tagged with thermal sensors at two sites within the Wolastoq River (W|SJR) catchment. YLM maintained a shallow (<10 cm) burrowed position and their horizontal movement behaviour was substantially different between sites. While both temperature and water level statistically influenced horizontal migration, it is likely that numerous environmental stimuli interact in complex ways to drive movement behaviour in YLM.