Emilija Cvetanovska

McGill University
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Tony Ricciardi
Start: 2012-09-03
End: 2014-08-31

Project

Changes to an invasive bivalve population following the removal of an artificial thermal plume in the St. Lawrence River
My M.Sc. research will examine changes to the St. Lawrence River benthic community following the closure of the Gentilly-2 nuclear power plant. The power plant has been releasing a warm water plume that has created an artificial habitat for the northern-most established population of the invasive Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea. This species is typically found in warmer climates and is believed to limited by a survival threshold temperature of 2°C. Using field surveys and temperature tolerance experiments in the lab, I will investigate the over-winter survival of the St. Lawrence population of C. fluminea. By examining the condition and abundance of the population after a temperate winter, I hope to gain insight into the adaptive characteristics of this species. The potential adaptation of C. fluminea to low temperatures has serious implications for lakes and rivers in Canada.