Fusconaia subrotunda - (I. Lea, 1831)
Longsolid
Other English Common Names: Long Solid Mussel, Longsolid Naiad
Synonym(s): Fusconaia maculata (Rafinesque, 1820)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Fusconaia subrotunda (I. Lea, 1831) (TSN 80051)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.118395
Element Code: IMBIV17120
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Fusconaia
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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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: Fusconaia subrotunda
Taxonomic Comments: The members of the genus Fusconaia are among the most difficult to identify in North America. Arguments arise even among taxonomists regarding the "species" represented in the genus. Stansbery (1983) summarized many of the problems and identified a few of the shell characters used to separate Fusconaia subrotunda from the morphologically similar and often co-occurring Fusconaia flava and the "forms" Fusconaia trigona (Lea, 1831), Fusconaia undata (Barnes, 1823), and Fusconaia wagneri (Baker, 1928). A few "morphs" have been variously identified and named but no rigorous genetic, anatomic, or conchological study has ever been published on this group to help elucidate species boundaries or relationships.

Synonyms include: Unio politus Say, 1834; Unio kirtlandianus Lea, 1834; Unio leseurianus Lea, 1840; Unio pilaris Lea, 1840; Unio globatus Lea, 1871; Unio bursa-pastoris B.H. Wright, 1896; Quadrula flexuosa Simpson, 1900; Quadrula andrewsii Marsh, 1902; and Quadrula beauchampii Marsh, 1902.

Some authors (i.e. Watters, 1995) use Fusconaia maculata Rafinesque, 1820 for this species. In an unpublished study of molecular systematics, Campbell and Harris (2006) found this species placed confidently within the genus Fusconaia.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 29Apr2009
Global Status Last Changed: 17Mar1998
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Although this species still remains widespread, distribution is greatly fragmented but remains relatively wide although many populations have questionable viability. Long-term viability of many populations is questionable, especially those in large rivers where zebra mussel populations are now established.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (17Mar1998)

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 (S1), Georgia (SX), Illinois (SX), Indiana (SX), Kentucky (S3), North Carolina (S1), Ohio (SNR), Pennsylvania (S2), Tennessee (S3), Virginia (S3), West Virginia (S3)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: VU - Vulnerable
American Fisheries Society Status: Special Concern (01Jan1993)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Historically distributed in the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee river drainages. Status largely unknown throughout its range. Thought to be extirpated from Illinois, having not been collected since the 1940s (Cummings and Mayer, 1997), very rare in Indiana, and North Carolina. Once thought to be nearly extirpated from Kentucky (Schuster, 1988) but "sporadic in the lower Green River and eastward" (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003) so special concern there. Endangered in Ohio where the only remaining population is thought to exist in the Muskingum River (G.T. Watters, Ohio Biological Survey, pers. comm. 1998; Watters, 1995). Scattered occurrences are known for West Virginia (Elk and Little Kanawha) and Virginia and it might still be hanging on in Sugar Creek in Indiana but otherwise Indiana and Illinois occurrences are extirpated (Cummings and Mayer, 1992). Occurrences in Arkansas (Meek and Clark, 1912) are questionable but are likely attributed to another species of Fusconaia (ebena, flava, ozarkensis).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Historically, this species was widely distributed in the Ohio River drainage. Current populations are thought to be restricted to the Muskingum River in Ohio and parts of the upper Tennessee and Cumberland river drainages. In Ohio it is distributed in the Muskingum River system where it is rare (Watters, 1995) including Tuscarawas and Walhonding Rivers (Watters et al., 2009). In North Carolina, it is reported from the Hiwassee and French Broad Rivers (Bogan, 2002) in Buncombe (extirpated), Cherokee, Clay, and Transylvania Cos. (LeGrand et al., 2006). In Tennessee, it occurs in the Clinch, Powell, Little Tennessee (likely now extirpated), Elk, lower Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers with occasional specimens in the Holston River (Knox and Grainger Cos.), Tellico River (Monroe Co.), and the Hiwassee River (Polk Co.) (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In Alabama, it occurred historically throughout much of the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Ohio River systems but is known to be extant only in the Tennessee River tailwaters of Guntersville and Wilson Dams and the Paint Rock River (rare in all) (Mirarchi et al., 2004; Williams et al., 2008). In Kentucky, it is sporadic in the lower Green River and eastward (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003). It has been collected in Kentucky in the Middle Green and Barren Rivers (Cochran and Layzer, 1993). This species occurs in Muddy Creek (French Creek drainage) in the Erie NWR in Crawford Co., Pennsylvania (Mohler et al., 2006) and is also known from the Connoquenessing and Middle Allegheny- Tionestain that state (PA NHP, pers. comm., 2006). It was reported as relictual in Copper Creek (Upper Clinch drainage) in Virginia (Fraley and Ahlstedt, 2000) as well as the upper Clinch River (Jones et al., 2001). Morris and Taylor (1992) documented it from the Upper Kanawha in West Virginia. It was rare in the Tippecanoe River, Indiana (Cummings and Berlocher, 1990) and a single live specimen was collected from Sugar Creek in 1991, although Fisher (2006) lists it as extirpated from the entire Wabash basin and hence from the state (IN NHP, pers. comm., 2009).

Population Size: 2500 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Due to problems obtaining a unbiased and complete sample, abundance in mussels is difficult to estimate, and no estimates of population size or abundance have been made for this species. Smith and Crabtree (2010) found this species at 6 of 32 sites (2 with recruitment) along the entire length of Pennsylvania's French Creek.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few to few (1-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Barr et al. (1994) determined (based on 1981 survey data) that viable populations exist in Clinch and Powell Rivers. Populations of medium-sized and small river forms (there are many forms of this species) such as the upper Powell and Clinch Rivers, have remained stable and viable in Tennessee (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998).

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Smith (1971) ranked the causes of extirpation or declines in fish species as follows: siltation, drainage of bottomland lakes, swamps, and prairie marshes, desiccation during drought, species introductions, pollution, impoundments, and increased water temperatures. All of these factors render habitats unsuitable, cause extirpations, and lead to the isolation of populations thereby increasing their vulnerability to extirpation for many aquatic species (including mussels) throughout North America. Zebra mussels, DREISSENA POLYMORPHA, have destroyed mussel populations in the Great Lakes and significantly reduced mussels in many of the large rivers of eastern North America. Zebra mussels have the potential to severely threaten other populations especially if they make their way into smaller streams. Pollution through point (industrial and residential discharge) and non-point (siltation, herbicide and fertilizer run-off) sources is perhaps the greatest on-going threat to this species and most freshwater mussels. Lowered dissolved oxygen content and elevated ammonia levels (frequently associated with agricultural runoff and sewage discharge) have been shown to be lethal to some species of freshwater naiads (Horne and McIntosh, 1979). Residential, mineral and industrial development also pose a significant threat. Rotenone, a toxin used to kill fish in bodies of water for increased sport fishery quality, has been shown to be lethal to mussels as well (Heard, 1970). Destruction of habitat through stream channelization and maintenance and the construction of dams is still a threat in some areas. Impoundments reduce currents that are necessary for basic physiological activities such as feeding, waste removal and reproduction. In addition, reduced water flow typically results in a reduction in water oxygen levels and a settling out of suspended solids (silt, etc.), both of which are detrimental. Dredging of streams has an immediate effect on existing populations by physically removing and destroying individuals. Dredging also affects the long-term recolonization abilities by destroying much of the potential habitat, making the substrates and flow rates uniform throughout the system. Natural predators include raccoons, otter, mink, muskrats, turtles and some birds (Simpson, 1899; Boepple and Coker, 1912; Evermann and Clark, 1918; Coker, et al. 1921; Parmalee, 1967; Snyder and Snyder, 1969). Domestic animals such as hogs can root mussel beds to pieces (Meek and Clark, 1912). Fishes, particularly catfish, ICTALURUS SPP. and AMIEURUS SPP., and freshwater drum, APLODINOTUS GRUNNIENS, also consume large numbers of unionids. See the General Freshwater Mussel ESA.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: It is declining throughout its range. It has been extirpated from Illinois and nearly so in Indiana but was once found throughout the Wabash River (Cummings and Mayer, 1997). Pennsylvania distribution has been reduced from a widespread western Pennsylvania range (Ortmann, 1919) to basically French Creek, Connoquenessing, and Middle Allegheny- Tionesta (Mohler et al., 2006). It was rare in the Tippecanoe River, Indiana (Cummings and Berlocher, 1990) and a single live specimen was collected from Sugar Creek in 1991, although Fisher (2006) lists it as extirpated from the entire Wabash basin and hence from the state (IN NHP, pers. comm., 2009). It is only known as relict shells in Copper Creek (Upper Clinch), Virginia (Hanlon et al., 2009).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 50-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: In Alabama, it occurred historically throughout much of the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Ohio River systems but is known to be extant only in the Tennessee River tailwaters of Guntersville and Wilson Dams (Mirarchi et al., 2004). In Ohio, it is extirpated from the Scioto River (formerly occurred up to Columbus), and Great Miami River (only a single record known) (Watters et al., 2009).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Not intrinsically vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Sensitive to pollution, siltation, habitat perturbation, inundation, and loss of glochidial hosts.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Largely because of the problems in identification and species relationships, the southern populations of the genus are questionable both in regards to identity and status. An inventory with the expressed purpose of collecting specimens and preserving them for genetic study is needed.

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Historically distributed in the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee river drainages. Status largely unknown throughout its range. Thought to be extirpated from Illinois, having not been collected since the 1940s (Cummings and Mayer, 1997), very rare in Indiana, and North Carolina. Once thought to be nearly extirpated from Kentucky (Schuster, 1988) but "sporadic in the lower Green River and eastward" (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003) so special concern there. Endangered in Ohio where the only remaining population is thought to exist in the Muskingum River (G.T. Watters, Ohio Biological Survey, pers. comm. 1998; Watters, 1995). Scattered occurrences are known for West Virginia (Elk and Little Kanawha) and Virginia and it might still be hanging on in Sugar Creek in Indiana but otherwise Indiana and Illinois occurrences are extirpated (Cummings and Mayer, 1992). Occurrences in Arkansas (Meek and Clark, 1912) are questionable but are likely attributed to another species of Fusconaia (ebena, flava, ozarkensis).

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 AL, GAextirpated, ILextirpated, INextirpated, KY, NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Colbert (01033), Jackson (01071), Lauderdale (01077), Madison (01089), Marshall (01095)
IN Boone (18011)*, Carroll (18015)*, Clark (18019)*, Crawford (18025)*, Daviess (18027)*, De Kalb (18033)*, Dubois (18037)*, Fountain (18045)*, Fulton (18049)*, Gibson (18051)*, Greene (18055)*, Harrison (18061)*, Knox (18083)*, Lawrence (18093)*, Marion (18097)*, Martin (18101)*, Monroe (18105)*, Morgan (18109)*, Owen (18119)*, Parke (18121)*, Pike (18125)*, Posey (18129)*, Sullivan (18153)*, Tippecanoe (18157)*, Vigo (18167)*, Warren (18171)*, Washington (18175)*
KY Allen (21003), Barren (21009), Bath (21011), Boone (21015)*, Breathitt (21025), Butler (21031), Campbell (21037), Clay (21051), Cumberland (21057)*, Edmonson (21061), Fleming (21069), Floyd (21071)*, Garrard (21079), Grayson (21085), Green (21087), Greenup (21089)*, Hardin (21093), Hart (21099), Henderson (21101), Jefferson (21111)*, Jessamine (21113), Johnson (21115)*, Kenton (21117), Laurel (21125)*, Lawrence (21127), Lee (21129), Lewis (21135)*, Livingston (21139), Marshall (21157), McCracken (21145)*, McCreary (21147)*, Mercer (21167)*, Monroe (21171)*, Muhlenberg (21177), Nelson (21179)*, Nicholas (21181), Ohio (21183), Oldham (21185)*, Owsley (21189), Pendleton (21191), Pulaski (21199)*, Robertson (21201), Rowan (21205), Russell (21207)*, Taylor (21217), Warren (21227), Wayne (21231)*, Woodford (21239)*
NC Cherokee (37039), Clay (37043), Macon (37113), Swain (37173), Transylvania (37175)
OH Coshocton (39031), Knox (39083), Licking (39089)*, Morgan (39115), Muskingum (39119), Pickaway (39129)*, Washington (39167)
PA Allegheny (42003)*, Armstrong (42005)*, Beaver (42007)*, Butler (42019)*, Crawford (42039), Erie (42049), Fayette (42051)*, Forest (42053), Indiana (42063)*, Lawrence (42073), McKean (42083), Mercer (42085), Potter (42105), Venango (42121), Warren (42123), Washington (42125)*, Westmoreland (42129)
WV Braxton (54007), Kanawha (54039), Ritchie (54085)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 St. Joseph (04100003)+*, Lower Maumee (04100009)*
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+, Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003)+, French (05010004)+, Middle Allegheny-Redbank (05010006)+*, Lower Allegheny (05010009)+, West Fork (05020002), Cheat (05020004)+*, Lower Monongahela (05020005)+, Upper Ohio (05030101)+*, Shenango (05030102)+, Mahoning (05030103)+*, Beaver (05030104)+*, Connoquenessing (05030105)+, Upper Ohio-Wheeling (05030106), Little Muskingum-Middle Island (05030201), Upper Ohio-Shade (05030202)*, Little Kanawha (05030203)+, Tuscarawas (05040001), Mohican (05040002)+, Walhonding (05040003)+, Muskingum (05040004)+, Licking (05040006)+*, Upper Kanawha (05050006), Elk (05050007)+, Upper Scioto (05060001)+*, Lower Scioto (05060002)+*, Tug (05070201)+, Lower Levisa (05070203)+, Big Sandy (05070204)+, Lower Great Miami (05080002)*, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101), Little Scioto-Tygarts (05090103)+*, Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+*, Licking (05100101)+, South Fork Licking (05100102)+*, North Fork Kentucky (05100201)+, South Fork Kentucky (05100203)+, Lower Kentucky (05100205)+, Upper Green (05110001)+, Barren (05110002)+, Middle Green (05110003)+, Lower Green (05110005)+, Middle Wabash-Deer (05120105)+*, Tippecanoe (05120106)+, Wildcat (05120107)+*, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+*, Vermilion (05120109)*, Sugar (05120110)+, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+*, Lower Wabash (05120113)+*, Upper White (05120201)+*, Lower White (05120202)+*, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+*, Upper Cumberland (05130101)*, Rockcastle (05130102)+*, Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+*, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+*, Obey (05130105)*, Upper Cumberland-Cordell Hull (05130106)*, Caney (05130108)*, Lower Cumberland-Old Hickory Lake (05130201)*, Lower Cumberland-Sycamore (05130202)*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)*, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+*, Rolling Fork (05140103)+*, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+*, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)+, Lower Ohio (05140206)+*
06 Watauga (06010103)*, Holston (06010104), Upper French Broad (06010105)+, Lower French Broad (06010107)*, Watts Bar Lake (06010201)*, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204), Upper Clinch (06010205), Powell (06010206), Lower Clinch (06010207)*, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)*, Hiwassee (06020002)+, Guntersville Lake (06030001), Wheeler Lake (06030002)+, Upper Elk (06030003), Pickwick Lake (06030005)+, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001), Kentucky Lake (06040005)+, Lower Tennessee (06040006)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A highly variable freshwater mussel; shell smooth, elongate and solid; beak cavity very deep, green rays on the umbo.
General Description: Shell relatively large, solid, elongate, oval or elliptical, and moderately inflated. Anterior end rounded, posterior end rounded or bluntly pointed. Dorsal margin and ventral margins straight to slightly curved. Umbos low and directed forward. Shell smooth, light brown, becoming dark brown to black in adults. Green rays present on juveniles and the umbos of older shells.

Pseudocardinal teeth large and well developed; two in the left valve, one in the right (occasionally with a small tooth on either side). Lateral teeth large and straight; two in the left valve, one in the right. Beak cavity very deep. Nacre white, iridescent posteriorly (Cumings and Mayer, 1992).

Reproduction Comments: The glochidial host is not known.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, High gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This species is found in medium to large rivers in gravel with a strong current (Watters, 1995) often in sand and gravel (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: In order to effectively manage mussel species it is necessary to work out certain life history characteristics first. Because of their unusual life-cycle and dependence on fish for completion of that cycle, it is imperative that the host species for FUSCONAIA SUBROTUNDA be ascertained. Host(s) species unknown. Life history studies need to be done to identify age and size at sexual maturity, recruitment success, age class structure, and other important life history parameters. Research is needed to assess the success of watershed protection on mussel populations. Abundance and distribution of selected species needs to be monitored in order to ascertain how species abundances change over time. From that we can assess what land-use changes, conservation practices, and physical/chemical parameters are correlated with, and possibly responsible for, the biological changes. As was stated in the taxonomic section above, this is an extremely difficult genus to identify. Arguments arise even among taxonomists regarding the OspeciesO represented in the genus FUSCONAIA. Although a few OmorphsO have been variously identified and named, no rigorous genetic, anatomic, or conchological study has ever been published on this group to help elucidate species boundaries or relationships.
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: 29Apr2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J. (2009); Cummings, K.S. (1998)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 11Jul2007
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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  • Boepple, J.F. and R.E. Coker. 1912. Mussel resources of the Holston and Clinch rivers of eastern Tennessee. Bureau of Fisheries Document 765. 13 pp.

  • Campbell, D. and P. Harris. 2006. Report on molecular systematics of poorly-known freshwater mollusks of Alabama. Report to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Montgomery, Alabama. 34 pp.

  • Center for Biological Diversity. 2010. Petition to list 404 aquatic, riparian and wetland species from the southeastern United States as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Petition submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Cochran, T.G. II and J.B. Layzer. 1993. Effects of commercial harvest on unionid habitat use in the Green and Barren Rivers, Kentucky. Pages 61-65 in K.S. Cummings, A.C. Buchanan, and L.M. Koch (eds.) Conservation and Management of Freshwater Mussels: Proceedings of a UMRCC Symposium, 12-14 October, 1992, St. Louis, Missouri. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois. 189 pp.

  • Coker, R.E., A.F. Shira, H.W. Clark, and A.D. Howard. 1921. Natural history and propagation of fresh-water mussels. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries [Issued separately as U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Document 839] 37(1919-20):77-181 + 17 pls.

  • Cummings, K.S. and C.A. Mayer. 1992. Field Guide to Freshwater Mussels of the Midwest. Illinois Natural History Survey Manual 5, Illinois. 194 pp.

  • Cummings, K.S. and C.A. Mayer. 1997. Distributional checklist and status of Illinois freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Unionacea). Pages 129-145 in: K.S. Cummings, A.C. Buchanan, C.A. Mayer, and T.J. Naimo (eds.) Conservation and management of freshwater mussels II: initiatives for the future. Proceedings of a UMRCC Symposium, October 1995, St. Louis, Missouri. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois.

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