Natural resource professionals needing freshwater mussel identification skills for restoration and recovery efforts.
Summary and Objectives:
The purpose of this course is to develop participants' freshwater mussel identification skills and knowledge of regional freshwater mussel species. Participants will learn an overall system for identifying mussels and characteristics of major taxonomic groups within the families Unionidae and Margaritiferidae and will provide the basis to approach species-level identification. Although emphasis will be placed on the Ohio River fauna (including the Tennessee River), specimens will be available from across the country. This course is hands-on, and laboratory and field exercises will provide shells and fresh specimens for identification.
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Identify unknown freshwater mussels by following methods as described in the course.
- Use proper freshwater mussel collection labeling and preservation techniques.
- Use distributional maps as an aid to freshwater mussel identification.
- Use dichotomous keys.
- Discuss identification tricks of the trade.