Return to Conservation Biology Research on Mussels

Swift, M.C., and G.E. Wagenbach. 1999. A survey of mussel faunas in the Cannon River and Superior National Forest. Final report to the Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 41 pp.


We studied the distribution and abundance of mussels in the Cannon River (4 sites) and its tributaries (5 sites) and in 10 lakes in the Range River watershed in Superior National Forest. In the Cannon River we found 12 species (12 and 7 at trunk and tributary stations, respectively). The most commonly encountered species was Lasmigona complanata (11 stations) followed by Pyganodon grandis (8), Lampsilis siliquoidea (7), and Potamilus alatus (7). We also collected Anodontoides ferussacianus (6), Lasmigona compressa (5), Ligumia recta (2), Actinonaias carinata (2), Pleurobema sintoxia (2), Elliptio dilatata (2), Lampsilis cardium (1), and Strophitus undulatus (1). Trunk stations had higher species richness (10 and 6 species) than tributary stations (6 or fewer species). Distribution and abundance were not clearly related to physical or chemical parameters in the Cannon River watershed. In lakes in the Range River watershed we found two species (P. grandis, 8 lakes; Utterbackia imbecilis, 2 lakes). Both species were found in three lakes. Abundance varied tremendously among lakes and appeared to be related to the availability of appropriate habitat and the effects of poisoning prior to trout stocking. The distribution of Utterbackia may be related to historical fish stocking.

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