Farmed mussels attach to aquaculture line with byssal threads in Washington, USA. Photo credit: Mark Stone, UW media relations.

Mussels attach to their habitat using byssal threads, but at what cost?

Roberts, Emily; Newcomb, Laura; McCartha, Michelle; Harrington, Katie; LaFramboise, Sam; Carrington, Emily; Sebens, Kenneth Many plants and sessile animals invest in mechanical attachment to their habitat by producing structural materials. The cost of this attachment can depend on the amount of structure produced to stay attached, but little is known about how much energy many organisms invest in such structures. One way that scientists evaluate … Continue reading Mussels attach to their habitat using byssal threads, but at what cost?

Text Box: Measuring mussel nutrient release rates in the field. A) Mussels from the Paint Rock River, USA. B) A filter-feeding mussel buried in the sediment C). Photos by G. Hopper (A), photos by C. Atkinson (B and C).Our study addresses these questions by measuring the amount and chemical composition of nutrients released by freshwater mussels occurring in large groups called mussel beds. Mussels are very diverse, with over 300 North American species, and provide many ecosystem services, such as filtering water. However, more than 70% of mussel species are threatened by human activities that degrade freshwater ecosystems.

Filter-feeder biomass and species composition matter to stream nutrient cycling

Garrett W. Hopper, Shuo Chen, Irene Sanchez Gonzalez, Jamie Bucholz, Yuehan Lu, Carla L. Atkinson Animals require specific elements to live and different species often require different ratios of those elements. When animals eat food, they retain required elements from their food and release those in excess as dissolved inorganic and organic forms of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous. These forms can be used by algae, … Continue reading Filter-feeder biomass and species composition matter to stream nutrient cycling