Sediment characterization of freshwater mussel habitat in the lower Wolastoq | Saint John River Watershed

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University of New Brunswick


Freshwater mussels are one of the world’s endangered species, which has significant importance in aquatic ecosystems. However, there has been a widespread decline in freshwater mussels due to various factors such as excessive sedimentation and poor land use practices. This report represents a comprehensive sediment characterization of freshwater mussel habitat from 34 different survey sites within the lower Wolastoq. Particle size distribution (PSD) analysis of collected sediments revealed that fine and medium sand was the most preferred habitat for freshwater mussels. Based on geospatial analysis, no significant difference was found between non-forest and forest areas (p=0.93 and p=0.22 respectively) whereas forest road density shows a statistically significant difference (p=0.01) with fineness modulus of sediments. Therefore, linking land use type and activity with sediment particle size, in aquatic systems can be useful to understand the habitat and distribution pattern of freshwater mussels.



NATURAL SCIENCES::Earth sciences::Exogenous earth sciences::Sedimentology