Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Env Exp Biol (2011) 9: 37–41
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Environmental and

Env Exp Biol (2011) 9: 37–41

Original Article

The populations of the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera in Natura 2000 site nature reserve “Melturu sils”

Mudīte Rudzīte1*, Māris Rudzītis2
1Museum of Zoology, University of Latvia, Kronvalda Bulv. 4, Rīga LV-1586, Latvia
2Museum of Geology, University of Latvia, Alberta 10, Rīga LV-1010, Latvia
*Corresponding author, E-mail: mudite.rudzite@lu.lv


The population of freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera in the river Pērļupe, known for pearl fishing till the beginning of the 20th century, was monitored during the period 1999 to 2010. The area is currently designated as a Natura 2000 site. Measurements of non-living shells showed that the proportion of small individuals in the population has been decreasing and that population ageing has occurred during the last years. Data on water quality indicated that the nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations are considerably higher compared to the optimum level. In addition, there are some problems with beaver dams and bad overall quality of the environment. The population will potentially recover if the river ecosystem improves.

Key words: age structure, Latvia, Margaritifera margaritifera, monitoring, non-living population, pearl mussel.

Env Exp Biol (2011) 9: 37–41
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh
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University of Latvia

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