Epioblasma florentina florentina - (I. Lea, 1857)
Yellow Blossom
Synonym(s): Plagiola florentina florentina (I. Lea, 1857)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Epioblasma florentina florentina (I. Lea, 1857) (TSN 80312)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.116898
Element Code: IMBIV16063
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Epioblasma
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Turgeon, D.D., J.F. Quinn, Jr., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, F.G. Hochberg, W.G. Lyons, P.M. Mikkelsen, R.J. Neves, C.F.E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, and J.D. Williams. 1998. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. 2nd Edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 26, Bethesda, Maryland: 526 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B98TUR01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Epioblasma florentina florentina
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1TX
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Apr2009
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: TX - Presumed Extinct
Reasons: This species is considered extinct but may be considered extant if taxonomic review reveals Epioblasma florentina florentina and Epioblasma florentina walkeri are conspecific. Glochidial hosts are not known.
Nation: United States
National Status: NX (22Jul2003)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SX), Kentucky (SX), Tennessee (SX), Virginia (SX)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population (14Jun1976)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast
IUCN Red List Category: EX - Extinct
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix I
American Fisheries Society Status: Possibly Extinct (01Jan1993)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: Zero (no occurrences believed extant)
Range Extent Comments: This subspecies was historically distributed in the Tennessee River drainage and the Cumberland River (Burch, 1975). It was widespread throughout the Tennessee River drainage and had been collected from the upper Clinch River, Tazewell Co., Virginia, Middle Fork Holston River in Smyth and Washington Cos., Virginia and in the South Fork Holston River, Washington Co., Virginia. Tributaries of the Tennessee River in Alabama once contained populations, including the Flint River and Hurricane Creek, a tributary of the Flint River in Madison Co., and Bear Creek, Franklin Co., Alabama. The only collections from the main channel fo the Tennessee River were from the Muscle Shoals area in Florence and Lauderdale Cos. and in archaeological deposits in Lauderdale and Colbert Cos., Alabama (USFWS, 1985; Ortmann, 1925; Morrison, 1942). It also ranged throughout several tributaries of the Cumberland but its total distribution is not well known (including Buck Creek, Pulaski, Co., and Beaver Creek, Russell Co., and the Cumberland River, Pulaski and Russell Cos., Kentucky) (see Parmalee and Bogan, 1998).

Area of Occupancy: 0 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 0 (zero)
Number of Occurrences Comments: This subspecies is now globally extinct.

Population Size: Zero, no individuals known extant

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None (zero)

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: This subspecies was formerly known, with few exceptions, from riffles and shoals of the largest rivers. Possibly the single greatest factor that contributed to its demise is the alteration and destruction of stream habitat due to impounements for flood control, navigation, hydroelectric power production, and recreation. Siltation is another factor that has affected these mussels. Increased silt transport was caused by strip mining, coal washing, dredging, farming, loggind, and road construction. Large river species of Epioblasma tend to be particularly sensitive to siltation, requireing clean, flowing water over stable, silt-free rubble, gravel, and sand shoals. Pollution has also impacted these mussel populations. A combination of toxic wastes, gravel dredging, and increased fertilizer and pesticide use is implicated (USFWS, 1985).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: This species has not been seen or collected since the mid-1960s from the Little Tennessee River and in 1957 from Citico Creek (USFWS, 1985). The last known record for this species was specimens collected by Herb Athearn in the Little Tennessee River and Citico Creek, Tennessee, in 1967; and it is generally believed, at the time of the five-year review of the recovery plan, that this species is extinct (USFWS, 2007).

Long-term Trend: Decline of >90%
Long-term Trend Comments: The status of the remaining populations is presently unknown due to the rarity of the mussel (Dennis in Neves, 1991). This species was once widespread throughout the Tennessee River drainage and had been collected from the upper Clinch River, Tazewell Co., Virginia, Middle Fork Holston River in Smyth and Washington Cos., Virginia, and in the South Fork Holston River, Washington Co., Virginia. Tributaries of the Tennessee River in Alabama once contained populations of Epioblasma florentina florentina, including the Flint River and Hurricane Creek, a tributary of the Flint River in Madison Co., and Bear Creek, Franklin Co., Alabama. The only collections of E. f. florentina from the main channel of the Tennessee River were from the Muscle Shoals area and in archaeological deposits in Lauderdale and Colbert Cos., Alabama. Epioblasma florentina ranged throughout several of the tributaries of the Cumberland, but its total distribution is not well known (it was collected from Buck Creek, Pulaski Co., and Beaver Creek, Russell Co., and in the Cumberland River, Pulaski and Russel Cos., Kentucky). Another subspecies, Epioblasma florentina curtisi, is known from southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas and may represent a disjunct population that was once continuous with the subspecies east of the Mississippi River. E. f. florentina is now extinct while E. f. curtisi and E. f. walkeri are extremely rare (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: The decline in the overall range of this species suggests that it is not tolerant of poor water quality. Sensitive to pollution, siltation, habitat perturbation, inundation, and loss of glochidial hosts. Large river species of Epioblasma tend to be particularly sensitive to siltation, requireing clean, flowing water over stable, silt-free rubble, gravel, and sand shoals.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (Zero (no occurrences believed extant)) This subspecies was historically distributed in the Tennessee River drainage and the Cumberland River (Burch, 1975). It was widespread throughout the Tennessee River drainage and had been collected from the upper Clinch River, Tazewell Co., Virginia, Middle Fork Holston River in Smyth and Washington Cos., Virginia and in the South Fork Holston River, Washington Co., Virginia. Tributaries of the Tennessee River in Alabama once contained populations, including the Flint River and Hurricane Creek, a tributary of the Flint River in Madison Co., and Bear Creek, Franklin Co., Alabama. The only collections from the main channel fo the Tennessee River were from the Muscle Shoals area in Florence and Lauderdale Cos. and in archaeological deposits in Lauderdale and Colbert Cos., Alabama (USFWS, 1985; Ortmann, 1925; Morrison, 1942). It also ranged throughout several tributaries of the Cumberland but its total distribution is not well known (including Buck Creek, Pulaski, Co., and Beaver Creek, Russell Co., and the Cumberland River, Pulaski and Russell Cos., Kentucky) (see Parmalee and Bogan, 1998).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALextirpated, KYextirpated, TNextirpated, VAextirpated

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Lauderdale (01077)*
KY Cumberland (21057)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+*
06 Pickwick Lake (06030005)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: The glochidial host is not known.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Found in riffle and shoal areas of small to medium-sized streams (Dennis in Neves, 1991).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This subspecies was declared federally endangered in the U.S. in 1976 and a recovery plan created (USFWS, 1985).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Freshwater Mussels

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens, including live specimens or recently dead shells (i.e., soft tissue still attached and/or nacre still glossy and iridescent without signs of external weathering or staining), at a given location with potentially recurring existence. Weathered shells constitute a historic occurrence. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information.
Mapping Guidance: Based on the separation distances outlined herein, for freshwater mussels in STANDING WATER (or backwater areas of flowing water such as oxbows and sloughs), all standing water bodies with either (1) greater than 2 km linear distance of unsuitable habitat between (i.e. lotic connections), or (2) more than 10 km of apparently unoccupied though suitable habitat (including lentic shoreline, linear distance across water bodies, and lentic water bodies with proper lotic connections), are considered separate element occurrences. Only the largest standing water bodies (with 20 km linear shoreline or greater) may have greater than one element occurrence within each. Multiple collection or observation locations in one lake, for example, would only constitute multiple occurrences in the largest lakes, and only then if there was some likelihood that unsurveyed areas between collections did not contain the element.

For freshwater mussels in FLOWING WATER conditions, occurrences are separated by a distance of more than 2 stream km of unsuitable habitat, or a distance of more than 10 stream km of apparently unoccupied though suitable habitat. Standing water between occurrences is considered suitable habitat when calculating separation distance for flowing water mussel species unless dispersal barriers (see Separation Barriers) are in place.

Several mussel species in North America occur in both standing and flowing water (see Specs Notes). Calculation of separation distance and determination of separation barriers for these taxa should take into account the environment in which the element was collected. Juvenile mussels do not follow this pattern and juveniles are typically missed by most standard sampling methods (Hastie and Cosgrove, 2002; Neves and Widlak, 1987), therefore juvenile movement is not considered when calculating separation distance.

Separation Barriers: Separation barriers within standing water bodies are based solely on separation distance (see Separation Distance-suitable, below). Separation barriers between standing water bodies and within flowing water systems include lack of lotic connections, natural barriers such as upland habitat, absence of appropriate species specific fish hosts, water depth greater than 10 meters (Cvancara, 1972; Moyle and Bacon, 1969) or anthropogenic barriers to water flow such as dams or other impoundments and high waterfalls.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: None
Separation Justification: Adult freshwater mussels are largely sedentary spending their entire lives very near to the place where they first successfully settled (Coker et al., 1921; Watters, 1992). Strayer (1999) demonstrated in field trials that mussels in streams occur chiefly in flow refuges, or relatively stable areas that displayed little movement of particles during flood events. Flow refuges conceivably allow relatively immobile mussels to remain in the same general location throughout their entire lives. Movement occurs with the impetus of some stimulus (nearby water disturbance, physical removal from the water such as during collection, exposure conditions during low water, seasonal temperature change or associated diurnal cycles) and during spawning. Movement is confined to either vertical movement burrowing deeper into sediments though rarely completely beneath the surface, or horizontal movement in a distinct path often away from the area of stimulus. Vertical movement is generally seasonal with rapid descent into the sediment in autumn and gradual reappearance at the surface during spring (Amyot and Downing, 1991; 1997). Horizontal movement is generally on the order of a few meters at most and is associated with day length and during times of spawning (Amyot and Downing, 1997). Such locomotion plays little, if any, part in the distribution of freshwater mussels as these limited movements are not dispersal mechanisms. Dispersal patterns are largely speculative but have been attributed to stream size and surface geology (Strayer, 1983; Strayer and Ralley, 1993; van der Schalie, 1938), utilization of flow refuges during flood stages (Strayer, 1999), and patterns of host fish distribution during spawning periods (Haag and Warren, 1998; Watters, 1992). Lee and DeAngelis (1997) modeled the dispersal of freshwater into unoccupied habitats as a traveling wave front with a velocity ranging from 0.87 to 2.47 km/year (depending on mussel life span) with increase in glochidial attachment rate to fish having no effect on wave velocity.

Nearly all mussels require a host or hosts during the parasitic larval portion of their life cycle. Hosts are usually fish, but a few exceptional species utilize amphibians as hosts (Van Snik Gray et al., 2002; Howard, 1915) or may metamorphose without a host (Allen, 1924; Barfield et al., 1998; Lefevre and Curtis, 1911; 1912). Haag and Warren (1998) found that densities of host generalist mussels (using a variety of hosts from many different families) and displaying host specialists (using a small number of hosts usually in the same family but mussel females have behavioral modifications to attract hosts to the gravid female) were independent of the densities of their hosts. Densities of non-displaying host specialist mussels (using a small number of hosts usually in the same family but without host-attracting behavior) were correlated positively with densities of their hosts. Upstream dispersal of host fish for non-displaying host specialist mussels could, theoretically, transport mussel larvae (glochidia) over long distances through unsuitable habitat, but it is unlikely that this occurs very often. D. Strayer (personal communication) suggested a distance of at least 10 km, but a greater distance between occurrences may be necessary to constitute genetic separation of populations. As such, separation distance is based on a set, though arbitrary, distance between two known points of occurrence.

Date: 18Oct2004
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Notes: Contact Jay Cordeiro (jay_cordeiro@natureserve.org) for a complete list of freshwater mussel taxa sorted by flow regime.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 25Jul2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 10Jan2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Bogan, A.E. and P.W. Parmalee. 1983. Tennessee's rare wildlife. Vol. 2: The mollusks. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tennessee Conservation Department: Nashville, Tennessee. 123 pp.

  • Morrison, J.P.E. 1942. Preliminary report on mollusks found in the shell mounds of the Pickwidk Landing basin in the Tennessee River valley. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin, 129: 339-392.

  • Ortmann, A.E. 1925. The naiad fauna of the Tennessee River system below Walden Gorge. The American Midland Naturalist, 9(7): 321-371.

  • Parmalee, P.W. and A.E. Bogan. 1998. The Freshwater Mussels of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville, Tennessee. 328 pp.

  • Parmalee, P.W. and A.E. Bogan. 1998. The freshwater mussels of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennesee. 328 pp.

  • Turgeon, D.D., J.F. Quinn, Jr., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, F.G. Hochberg, W.G. Lyons, P.M. Mikkelsen, R.J. Neves, C.F.E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, and J.D. Williams. 1998. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. 2nd Edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 26, Bethesda, Maryland: 526 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1985d. Recovery plan for tubercled-blossom pearly mussel Epioblasma (= Dysnomia) torulosa torulosa (Rafinesque, 1820), turgid-blossom pearly mussel Epioblasma (= Dysnomia) turdigula (Lea, 1858), and yellow-blossom pearly mussel Epioblasma (= Dysnomia) florentina florentina (Lea, 1857). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlanta, Georgia. 39 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2007. Green-blossom pearly mussel (Epioblasma torulosa gubernaculum), turgid-blossom pearly mussel (Epioblasma turgidula), and yellow-blossom pearly mussel (Epioblasma florentina florentina) 5-year review: Summary and evaluation. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Cookeville, Tennessee. 12 pp.

  • Williams, J.D., A.E. Bogan, and J.T. Garner. 2008. Freshwater Mussels of Alabama & the Mobile Basin in Georgia, Mississippi & Tennessee. University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 908 pp.

  • Williams, J.D., M.L. Warren, Jr., K.S. Cummings, J.L. Harris, and R.J. Neves. 1993b. Conservation status of freshwater mussels of the United States and Canada. Fisheries 18(9): 6-22.

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