Freshwater pearl mussel is a subject of protection in the Šumava, Boletice and Blanice Special Areas of Conservation defined according to the European Union’s Habitats Directive. Blanice River basin is also listed in the Biogenetic reservation system, announced by the Council of Europe. Since the Blanice River headwaters are in the Boletice Military Training Area (BMTA), the local management plans play a crucial role in freshwater pearl mussel population dynamics in the whole Blanice River basin.
The project includes three main research areas. The first one is focused on mapping of springs in BMTA and on following digitalization of obtained dataset. The aim is to obtain exact localization of food sources and to reduce the risk of their destruction.
The second research area is focused on bioindication assessment of springs, Blanice River and its tributaries. The aim is to determine the importance and quality of individual springs as sources of detritus in natural environment along with their possible utilization as food sources in artificial breeding cycles. Selected springs will be laboratory assessed with “ex situ tests” according to methodology of APES and subsequently categorized into separate trophy categories. In situ tests will be conducted on selected profiles of the Blanice River and its´ tributaries in order to assess survival rate and growth analysis of freshwater pearl mussel juveniles in their natural environment.
The third research area is focused on migrations and habitat preferences of the freshwater pearl mussel temporary host – brown trout. The goal is to assess the natural spread of the freshwater pearl mussel in a specific environment of BMTA.