200750100 - Adapting tree-ring techniques to reconstruct stream environmental histories from the growth increments of long-lived freshwater mussels

Sponsor: Oregon State University

Short description: We apply tree-ring techniques to i) develop chronologies from the growth increments of freshwater mussels ii) use mussel and tree-ring chronologies to reconstruct aquatic environmental variability prior to the beginning of instrumental records.

Location: Mainstem/Systemwide province, subbasin

Budgets: FY08: $51,405 | FY09: $22,097

Primary species:


ObjectiveDescriptionSubbasin planStrategies
1. Crossdate freshwater mussel growth increments At three different lcoations in the Columbia River Basin, we will demonstrate the tree-ring technique of crossdating on freshwater mussel growth increment data to ensure that all growth increments have been assigned the correct calendar year.
2. Develop three freshwater mussel chronologies We will use crossdated freshwater growth increment data to develop a multidecadal, annually resolved freshwater mussel growth chronology at each of three sites in the Columbia River Basin.
3. Relate growth chronologies to climate We will compare freshwater mussel chronologies to climate (flow, water temperature, air temperature, precipitation, ENSO) records to establish the effects of climate on mussel growth.
4. Reconstruct climate using mussel chronologies We will use the mussel chronologies, which should predate instrumental climatic records, to reconstruct climate.
5. Describe patterns of synchrony. We will describe patterns of synchrony among the three freshwater mussel chronologies, whcih will represent diverse sites in the Columbia River Basin.
6. Incorporate tree-ring data in reconstructions We will determine whether tree-ring data in combination with freshwater mussel chronologies improves reconstructions of aquatic environmental variables beyond that provided by freshwater mussel chronologies alone.



  • ISRP: Unranked
  • Council: Not fundable
  • BPA: Not fundable