The Effects of the 2000 Drought on Freshwater Mussels in the Lower Flint River Basin
Golladay, Stephen W.
Hicks, David W.
MetadataShow full item record
A drought during the summer of 2000 caused record low flows in the lower Flint River Basin (FRB) and many perennial streams dried or became intermittent. Pre-drought surveys conducted in 1999 allowed an assessment of the impact of the drought on mussel assemblages. During 2001, 21 stream reaches which had abundant or diverse mussel assemblages were resurveyed. Where possible, study sites were classified as flowing or non-flowing during the drought. Mussel abundance at sites classified as non-flowing showed significant declines (median value 80% decrease) compared to flowing sites (median value 5% increase). Generally, greatest declines in mussel abundance occurred in the mid-reaches of the major tributaries of the lower Flint River. Declines in mussel populations appear to be associated with unusual climatic conditions and increasing demand on the area streams and the regional aquifer system for irrigation water supply.