After a slow start in the new field season 2015, the UC4LIFE lab facility at Hemmerstorps mölla, Skåne, is full of fish and mussels, eventually.
Martin Škerlep, Valentina Zülsdorff, and Tina Petersson are our studious lab/field- assistants this year. Together, we have been preparing the UC4LIFE lab for the years’ field season and initiated a variety of conservation measures for Unio crassus, already.
A first laboratory experiment with fish from Klingavälsån and mussel larvae from Bråån has been started to test whether the fish species roach, perch, silver bream and common bleak are functional hosts for Unio crassus. During the last years we were able to rear juvenile mussels on the European bullhead from Klingavälsån and Fyleån, but also on the minnow or the stickleback, for instance. Those three fish species are excellent hosts for Unio crassus in Skåne.
In order to re-introduce Unio crassus in Klingavälsån and in Fyleån at the end of this field season, we will culture juvenile mussels in the lab as we did in the last years. Also, we will catch fish in Klingavälsån, artificially infest them with mussel larvae and release the fish directly to the river afterwards. In Fyleån, we were able to conduct this measure already in May. Thus, we all hope that our work will be fruitful! In three or four years we may be able to find the first young Unio crassus emerging to the surface of the steam sediment!
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