Portugal and HCMR collaborate on freshwater mussel research

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Portugal and HCMR collaborate on freshwater mussel research

Traveling team members Ronaldo Souza, Amilcar Teixeira, Ioannis Karousas (HCMR), Manuel Lopez-Lima and Simona Varandas.

October 2014 HCMR field work with the Portuguese team

We had a wonderful collaboration with a Portuguese group of experts in the biogeography, taxonomy and conservation sciences of freshwater bivalve molluscs, commonly known as freshwater mussels. These animals are rare because they have special ecological needs and are vulnerable to degradation of rivers and lakes (habitat disturbance, drought, pollution). These are the most important biogeographic indicators. The scientific work done on bivalves in Greece is late, and there are important gaps: we do not even know the exact species names of the taxa. Therefore, a phylogenetic and systematic study of its distribution is needed. I'm sharing some snapshots from our recent fieldwork with the best freshwater European mussel experts and thank you for all they taught us. Thanks to Manuel López Lima, Ronaldo Sosa, Amilcar Teixeira and Simon Varandas. Ioannis Karuzas of HCMR is also involved in this exciting research project.

Organizations collaborating with HCMR scientists on this research include:
  • CIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center for Marine and Environmental Studies, University of Porto, Rua dos Bragas 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal.
  • CITAB-UTAD - Research and Technology Center for Agricultural Environment and Life Sciences, University of Trasos Montes and Alto Douro, Apartado 1013, 5001-811 Vila Real, Portugal.
  • CIMO-ESA-IPB - Mining Research Center, School of Agriculture, Braganca Polytechnic Institute, Santa Apolonia Campus, Apartado 1172, 5301-854 Braganca, Portugal.
  • CBMA - Center for Molecular and Environmental Biology, University of Minho, Campos de Goltar, Braga-057-4710, Portugal.

Hazardous mud operations in the waters of the former Copay Lake Canal in Boeotia, Central Greece. There are wonderful mushrooms here!
The expedition team was engaged in the development of a mussel mine near the town of Aliartos in the Kifissos Basin (formerly Lake Kopisem).
Amazingly large Anodonta mussels in the Boeotian Basin in Kyphisos .
An outdoor workshop on Lake Youleki (photo by Ioannis Karouzas).
The interior of a native Anadonta mussel . This monster is sacrificed to collect the shell.

Belsey Lake - last year there were mussels - this year only one living specimen was found!
Mussels from Lake Bielce on Mount Parneta. You may be familiar with the fish from Kifissos Aquarium.
The group investigates the "mysterious lake". Permission to enter after discussion with local security: Thank you!
Mysterious Lake is definitely one of the most beautiful landscapes in Attica. It is only 25 km from Athens!
We found no oysters in Secret Lake; Then we decided to walk on the beach.
These are the great eastern plains except for the stream near Lake Mystery. Thanks to nature.
An unusually high level of water descends on Secret Lake. Yes, I forgot the corpse gear again!
Take a genetic sample: a small part of the "foot" and the gonads.
The team processed about 25 snails in less than an hour. Almost everyone came back to life - only a small part of the "leg" was lost.

Boeotian Physosos enter Lake Yuliki, home to bivalve molluscs and rare fish (Photo: I. Karaouzas)

Lake Uliki in Boeotia, east-central Greece. The fauna includes many endemic species that are rare in the western Aegean region.

Manuel went up to Lake Yuleki. A unique lake view with a calmness reminiscent of the Aegean islands.

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