Freshwater mussels are the most imperiled taxonomic group in North America. Effective conservation requires reliable sampling data. However, field protocols have not been well developed and tested. In the present study, we evaluate the sufficiency of time-based sampling in Illinois wadeable streams. We intensively sampled 14 sites which differed widely in watershed size and substrate composition. At each site, we conducted a 16 man-hour hand search and measured a range of habitat characteristics (e.g., water depth, channel width, and substrate types). The number of species recorded at a site varied between 5 and 14 with 27-942 individuals collected. Statistical estimations yielded 1-3 more species per site. A four man-hour search, a commonly used effort, captured =80% of the estimated species richness at only 36% of the sites. Twelve man-hours were needed to capture =80% of the species at all sites. We further examined what watershed and habitat variables may affect sampling sufficiency using correlation analysis and regression analysis. Our findings should provide a general guide for mussel sampling in wadeable streams in Illinois and potentially in the Midwest.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||North American Benthological Association, Annual Meeting; Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|State||Published - 2010|