Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Tom Jones, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Mindy Yeager-Armstead

Third Advisor

Dr. Anne Axel


The Greenup Pool is one of the most unique pools of the Ohio River in terms of habitat richness and anthropogenic impact both historical and current. The Greenup Pool spans 61.8 miles reaching from Greenup Dam in Greenup, KY to Robert C. Byrd Dam in Apple Grove, WV. We surveyed 17 sites to assess mussel communities within the Greenup Pool using the 2017 West Virginia Mussel Survey Protocol. At these sites, six 100-meter transects were surveyed for surface and subsurface mussels. Each transect was divided into 10-meter intervals. These surveys resulted in 4,041 live individuals from 21 species, including eight federally endangered Plethobasus cyphyus. This effort furthers our understanding of the Greenup Pool mussel community and identifies the outside bends and straightaways of the upper Greenup Pool as their preferred habitat. Habitat selection may be a result of lower historic impact in the Upper Pool and appears to be influenced by the coverage of fine sediment. Additionally, morphometric data indicates a severe lack of recent reproduction in the Greenup Pool, suggesting many species are only present as large, old individuals. The mussel community identified in this effort was compared to a prior Greenup Pool survey effort in 2017 using a similar site selection process and survey protocol. The analysis of the two efforts concluded the initial 2017 survey captured the mussel community based on the results of this effort. The combined data from both efforts is potentially the largest and most up to date mussel community resource for an individual navigational pool in the Ohio River.


Freshwater mussels – Ecology – Ohio River.

Ohio River – Ecology.

Greenup (Ky.) – Ecology.

West Virginia – Ecology.