Freshwater Mussels and Marine Mussels of Canada
Studies on Taxonomy, Distribution and Conservation
A part of this research program is on a species-rich yet declining group of freshwater mussels native to Canada (the Unionacea). These animals occur in lakes and rivers and are good indicators of ecological health. The work focuses on taxonomy by using shell morphology from early life stages, and considers distribution and changes to populations of these native mussels. Assessments include the impact of human activities, including the introductions of invasive species such as the zebra mussel. The other aspects of this project focus on the taxonomy of marine mussels (the Mytilidae), found along Canada's Pacific and Atlantic coasts, using early life stages for species identification, and the importance of these mussels in coastal ecosystems.
Principal investigator: André Martel.
Nathalie Desrosiers and Annie Paquet, Ministère du Développement Durable, de l'Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec (website in French)
Tania Baker, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources-OMNR, Pembroke, Ontario
Meredith Brown, Ottawa River Keeper-ORK, Ottawa, Ontario
Dr. Don McAlpine, New Brunswick Museum, St. John, New Brunswick
Dr. David Zanatta, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Dr. Réjean Tremblay, Institut des Sciences de la mer-ISMER, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Rimouski, Quebec
Dr. Denis Lacelle, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
In the Museum's Blog
Searching for Pearly Mussels in the Rideau River during the Hottest Days of Summer
Sixteen years after the first study, what is the state of native mussels in Ontario's Rideau River? Research scientist André Martel and team will be diving all summer to find out.
The Rare Hickorynut Freshwater Mussel Finds a Haven in the Ottawa River
Researcher André Martel is very excited! He and his team discovered what could be the most important population of Hickorynut Mussel in Canada. This freshwater mussel has recently been listed as an endangered species.