Studies on the specie

Margaritifera auricularia is a specie of Naiad still unknown. Its ecology and food, as well as its interaction with the environment remain unknown for the scientific world. In order to be able to implement adapted protective actions, part of the LIFE project focus on studies on the specie.

Part of the study will be held on the research of host fishes, different than the European Sturgeon or the Freshwater Blenny (identified for the rivers of the Mediterranean basin). The Sturgeon is extinct or in danger in the Atlantic basin, it is therefore of main importance to identify new host fishes in order to support their habitat protection and ensure the survival of Margaritifera auricularia. Indeed on the Vienna basin, the sturgeon has disappeared for more than a century. However, the middle age of the mussels is estimated to be less than a hundred years. We therefore believe other host fishes than the sturgeon exist for the reproduction of the Giant Pearl Mussel.

Researches are also carried out on the ecology of the Giant Pearl Mussel to determine its food as well as its interaction with its environment. Different feeding methods, habitats, physico chemical parameters are tested on juveniles in laboratory. We will then measure their growth according to each parameter to identify their preferences.