Science Spotlight

Science In Depth

The ability of mussels to serve as bioindicators of coastal pollution and environmental change will be studied in a project with three objectives: 1) compare different methods to transport mussels from distant sites to the laboratory; 2) perform experiments to establish baseline health and behavioral parameters of bay mussels; 3) and determine whether transport conditions influenced the results of the experiments. We want to determine if transporting mussels on ice or in seawater from the collection site is better for keeping the mussels alive and for providing quality material for experiments. We will also validate a variety of laboratory techniques, each one able to detect changes in mussel health that occur in response to different environmental factors, such as organic or inorganic pollution, general environmental stress, water acidification, or thermal stress. The results from this study will provide methods to assess environmental stress in bay mussels, a potential indicator of coastal environmental conditions and change.


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