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Queen's University Belfast works to save Strangford horse mussels
Date:1/22/2009

storation of the European native oyster, freshwater pearl mussels and a long history of marine research. The University is therefore ideally positioned to undertake research to develop techniques and recommendations for the restoration of horse mussel reefs in Strangford Lough.

"One year into the study we have found that horse mussel reefs as not as widely distributed as they were in the 1970s and that some beds have extremely poor mussel density - less than 25% of what we would consider a good density.

"In terms of intervention we have started to culture the animals in the lab at Portaferry.

"Mussels are very important to the marine environment as they act as biological 'engineers' in both freshwater and marine ecosystems. When they feed they filter vast quantities of water thereby improving water quality. A frequently cited example is that of a population of blue mussels which were capable of filtering the entire contents of the Albert Dock in Liverpool in two days.

"Horse mussels work in the same way; they also provide habitat for over a hundred other species, serving as a nursery ground for species of commercial importance."


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Contact: Andrea Clements
a.clements@qub.ac.uk
Queen's University Belfast
Source:Eurekalert

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