Ozark Plateau - Sensitivity of Mussels to Heavy Metals


Previous studies have shown that native mussels are more sensitive to some toxic pollutants than the most sensitive species of other invertebrates, fish, or amphibians that are commonly used to establish USEPA Water Quality Criteria. However, no data are available that can be used to directly interpret potential effects of lead or zinc in water or sediment on native mussels inhabiting the Ozark Plateau or elsewhere in North America. The goal of this project is to generate zinc and lead toxicity data in water or sediment for sensitive life stages of mussels native to the Ozark Plateaus. Related objectives include the development of methods for field exposure of laboratory-reared juvenile mussels and laboratory methods for conducting water and sediment toxicity tests with larvae and juvenile life stages. The results of this study will be used to determine whether existing USEPA water quality criteria for zinc and lead are adequately protective of native mussels.


For more information on native mussels, visit the Unio Gallery at http://unionid.missouristate.edu/.