Author(s): Yenory Morales; Arthur Mynett; Larry Weber
Keywords: No Keywords
Abstract: Applying Ecohydraulics principles a model for analysis of freshwater mussel populations has been developed. This paper presents a general description of the model and its application. The Mussel Dynamics Model (MDM) captures relevant interactions between mussels and their environment and simulates inter- and intra-species food competition. Various modules provide input information defining the environmental conditions in the domain, which becomes the forcing function driving mussels’ response. Mussel’s behavior is simulated by an individual-based configuration model; this gives flexibility to account for individuals’ heterogeneity in the population. MDM has been used to investigate the effect of substrate and hydrodynamic conditions on mussels’ assemblage in a 10 km reach of Pool 16 in the Upper Mississippi River. Substrate stability and hydrodynamic transport of mussel larvae were identified as key factors in mussel bed formation. The model was also used as a numerical experiment to explore the effect of food competition and it was observed that this can be a significant factor on population assemblage. In the future, MDM can be a useful tool for evaluating the effects of alternative management practices for freshwater mussel communities.