David L. Strayer

in Freshwater Mussel Ecology

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255265
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942523 | DOI:

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This chapter reviews the impact of food sources on the distribution and abundance of unionoids. Classically, freshwater mussels were thought of as suspension feeders, subsisting chiefly on phytoplankton, zooplankton, and particulate detritus. However, more recent work has raised the possibility that unionoid mussels may feed on suspended bacteria, fungal spores, dissolved organic matter, or sedimented organic matter. There are three overarching questions regarding the influence of food resources on unionoid populations: How often and under what conditions are unionoid populations limited by inadequate food? Also, how often and under what conditions do unionoids themselves control ambient food resources (thereby raising the possibility of density-dependent population control via food resources)? And, finally, has widespread anthropogenic eutrophication increased the size of unionoid populations by increasing food availability?

Keywords: unionoid population; food limitation; mussels; food resources

Chapter.  5841 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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