USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Dr. Heather Judkins


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

June 2015

Publication Date


Date Issued

April 2015


The impact of elevated water temperatures on the growth of the ribbed mussel Geukensia demissa was examined in order to assess the effects of temperature increases due to climate change predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Fifty-seven mussels were distributed into treatments of 23°C, 27°C, and 31°C for 31 days. Measurements of weight, length, and width were compared. There was no significant impact on growth rates in varied temperatures. Mussels exposed to 31°C had the largest average shell length. Average shell length was found to be similar at 23°C and 27°C. Total change in average size was calculated to show growth differences among treatments. Mussels that were kept in 31°C showed the greatest change in weight and shell length. These results suggest that mussel shell size is positively correlated to temperature. However, in order to gain a clearer understanding of how temperature impacts G. demissa shell size a longer study may be necessary.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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