Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Development of methods for conditioning and culture of endangered short-term brooding freshwater mussels


July 2006 - July 2010


Population declines of short-term brooding (STB) mussels of the unionids subfamily Unioninae appear to be accelerating, especially in major tributaries in the upper Tennessee River basin. The most affected genera include Fusconaia, Lexingtonia, Pleurobema, and Quadrula, which include a total of 19 federally endangered species. Six of the listed species and a candidate occur in the upper Tennessee River basin. These species (Fursconaia cor, F. cuneolus, Pleurobema plenum, Quadrula cylindrica strigillata, Q. intermedia, Q. sparsa, and Lexingtonia dolabelloides) have displayed little recent recruitment and are becoming increasingly uncommon to extremely rare in the Holston, Powell, and Clinch watersheds of Virginia and Tennessee.

The objectives of this research project are as follows:

1. To determine the effects of holding conditions and diets on levels of total carbohydrates and gametogenesis in
two captive surrogate species (Q. quadrula and F. ebena).
2. To determine the effects of holding conditions and diets on growth and survival of juvenile F. cor, F. cuneolus, Q.
c. strigillata, and/or L. dolabelloides.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 240

Phd Students: 143

Post Docs: 52

University Staff: 245

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 702

Scientific Publications: 1948

Presentations: 4251



  • Richard NevesPrincipal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • USFWS Region 4

Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey