No more than three oral presentations (the titles: Bending Rivers by mussels (Ivan Olsson), Local adaptation studies and conservation: The relationship of Unio crassus with two of its sympatric and allopatric host fish species (Lea Schneider), Rearing-related activities of Unio crassus – which host fish species to use? Martin Österling.)) and and five poster presentations were given based on our UC4LIFE-project at the second International Seminar, “Rearing of unionoid mussels” in Clervaux, Luxembourg, November 2015.
In addition to the presentations, we closed our seminar session by giving the audience the Movie ”The return of the thick shelled river mussel” which was released for the first time ever. Moreover, poster presentations about host-fish species used by Unio crassus and overall project information were given in between the oral talks by Vibeke Lirås, Marie Eriksson, Andreas Nilsson, Helena Herngren, Lars Gezelius, Erik Årnfelth. Down below follow a short summery about the conference outline:
After the welcome reception on Tuesday evening, with greeting words from the Mayor of Clervaux Emil Eicher, the scientific program started on Wednesday morning. The vice president from natur & ëmwelt / Fondation Hëllef fir d’Natur Claude Meisch gave a short introduction to the international audience about the area and the work of natur & ëmwelt.
The first session started great with an introduction talk from Prof. Dr. Jürgen Geist from the Technical University of Munich about the necessity of supportive breeding. Talks about the first steps of freshwater mussel development on the gills of their host fish followed. After lunch the second sessions chaired by Dr. David Zanatta from the Central Michigan University highlighted some genetic aspects which can be considered for captive breeding followed directly by a few talks dealing with more technical aspects of freshwater mussel culture and some experiences made with different techniques used. After the last talk the poster presentation followed up and closed the first day.
The second day started with an overview of the long history of mussel propagation in the USA given by Prof. Dr. Chris Barnhart from Missouri State University and led over to the presentations of some long term experiences in rearing the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera. Furthermore rearing projects from France, Germany and Virginia were presented. During session IV in the afternoon chaired by Dr. Evelyn Moorkens from the republic of Ireland mussel projects from UK and Sweden were given.
Part of the UC4LIFE-team closed the scientific program by presenting three oral presentations, including the Movie
The rest of the evening was reserved for the social program including the visit of the the UNESCO Memory of the World Photo Exhibition: The Family of Man by Edward Steichen and the official seminar dinner.
On the last day Dr. Karel Douda from Czech University of Sciences in Prague chaired the last sessions with interesting talks about the habitat requirements of Unio crassus in Bavaria and two talks about freshwater mussel projects in Portugal and Spain.
Before we left by bus to the visit of the rearing facility at the mill of Kalborn, the LIFE Unio team gave a short presentation about the work done at the mill of Kalborn. Having arrived at the mill, lunch was served discussion mostly different rearing systems used at the mill of Kalborn.
The conference was very interesting and we learned a lot. Thanks to Frankie and the entire conference committee!
PS – Read more about the conference here (abstracts)!