Sampling Effort Required to Find Rare Species of Freshwater Mussels

    Published: Jan 1986

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    Several approaches for determining the sampling effort required to find rare species of freshwater mussels were examined. Methods based on the relationship between number of species and number of individuals collected may provide a basis for estimating sampling effort, but more research is required to verify their applicability. Collections of dead shells (from lake shores or river banks) cannot be used because dead shells do not accumulate in proportion to the occurrence of five specimens in adjacent waters. Methods based on quantitative sampling are most promising. However, several methodological problems must be overcome to make quantitative sampling cost-effective.

    A tentative protocol for searching for rare species is presented. A preliminary survey using qualitative methods is used to determine the distribution of mussels in a habitat. These data are used to stratify the habitat for quantitative sampling, preferably using quadrats. The number of samples taken depends on the scope of the study. Sample number may be set by some predetermined target density that must be detected or by funding.


    mollusks, unionids, clams, mussels, endangered species, sampling methods

    Author Information:

    Kovalak, WP
    Detroit Edison Company, Detroit, MI

    Dennis, SD
    Vice-president and president, Ecological Consultants, Inc., Shawsville, VA

    Bates, JM
    Vice-president and president, Ecological Consultants, Inc., Shawsville, VA

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.24

    DOI: 10.1520/STP33053S

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