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Mussels cramped by environmental factors
Date:2/16/2013

lly farmed mussels are then more prone to "fall off." In work she did on the U.S. east coast, for example, the early storms of fall wiped one third of the mussels from where they'd been attached. Even winter's nor'easters cause less fall off because the byssus by then has regained strength.

"We're trying to learn what causes this seasonal weakening is it related to warmer weather, their spawning cycle or something else," she said. "And now we want to know if increased environmental fluctuations will help put them over the edge."

"The mussel is a keystone species in rocky intertidal areas," says David Garrison, director of the National Science Foundation's Biological Oceanography Program, which funded the research. "Detachment of mussels results in lost habitat for myriad other organisms."


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Contact: Sandra Hines
shines@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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