Lampsilis cariosa - (Say, 1817)
Yellow Lampmussel
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lampsilis cariosa (Say, 1817) (TSN 79991)
French Common Names: lampsile jaune
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.109623
Element Code: IMBIV21050
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Lampsilis
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ 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: Lampsilis cariosa
Taxonomic Comments: Specimens thought to be Lampsilis cariosa from the Potomac River Basin in Maryland may be hybridizing with Lampsilis cardium or Lampsilis ovata (introduced to the Potomac Basin) (Art Bogan pers. comm. 1998). Anatomical or genetic work needs to be done to understand this situation. A portion of collections may have shell material mis-identified as another Lampsilis (Author pers. obs. 1998). In North Carolina, Stiven and Alderman (1992) noted conchological and genetic differences of specimens from different habitats as well as significant differences from Leptodea ochracea and Lampsilis radiata.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23Dec2011
Global Status Last Changed: 20Oct1998
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Range, though widespread geographic, has contracted significantly with local extirpations and abundance in decline nearly everywhere except a few exceptional sites in New York and Maine. Area of occupancy has decline even more than range extent as most occurrences are represented by small populations having poor viability with few individuals.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4 (20Oct1998)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N2 (01Aug2017)

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 Connecticut (S1S2), Delaware (SH), District of Columbia (SH), Georgia (S3), Maine (S2S3), Maryland (SU), Massachusetts (S1S2), New Hampshire (SX), New Jersey (S2), New York (S3), North Carolina (S3), Pennsylvania (S4), South Carolina (S2), Virginia (S2), West Virginia (S2)
Canada New Brunswick (S2), Nova Scotia (S1)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: SC (14Jul2005)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Special Concern (01Nov2013)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: Populations still occur in the Sydney River watershed, Nova Scotia, and in the Saint John River watershed, New Brunswick. In addition, a new site has been found at Pottle Lake in Nova Scotia. While cumulative threat impacts from non-native species of fish and from industrial pollution are high, there is uncertainty about the timing and possibility of invasion by Zebra Mussels and the impact of non-native species of fish on host fish for the Yellow Lampmussel.

Status history: Designated Special Concern in May 2004. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2013.

IUCN Red List Category: EN - Endangered
American Fisheries Society Status: Threatened (01Jan1993)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species has a large geographic range, from Nova Scotia to Georgia in Atlantic drainages, and in St. Lawrence River system westward to Ontario. While many historic occurrences are extirpated, the species still occurs in numbers in a few places, and the wide range is actually represented by several disjunct populations. Some sites have problematic identifications. In Canada, it is currently known from only two localities: Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and Fredericton, New Brunswick (COSEWIC, 2004). In the Atlantic Slope, it occurs east of the Appalachian Mountains from the Sydney River, Nova Scotia, to the Ogeechee River, Georgia (likely historical only- see Sukkestad et al., 2006), South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut (thought extirpated but barely hanging on in the lower Connecticut River), Massachusetts, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Recently, the species has contracted its range in most of the southern states and populations are in decline and disappearing nearly everywhere. Populations persist in the lower Saint John River and tributaries, New Brunswick, despite range contraction over the past century (Sabine et al., 2004).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: In the U.S., it was believed extirpated from Connecticut (Nedeau and Victoria, 2003) until recently when it was rediscovered in a single locality in the lower Connecticut River (Victoria, 2006). The species is believed to be extirpated from Washington D.C., New Hampshire, and nearly so from Massachusetts where it is only known from a few sites on the Connecticut River (Smith, 2000) and nearly so in New Jersey where it is known from the Ramapo and upper Delaware (formerly in Passaic and Raritan) (Cordeiro, 2003). The best populations are in Maine and New York. In Maine, it is known only from the Penobscot, St. George, and lower Kennebec River watersheds in Aroostook, Kennebec, Knox, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo, and Washington Cos. (Nedeau et al., 2000). It has not been confirmed in Vermont (Fichtel and Smith, 1995). In New York, it is known from the Susquehanna and Hudson basins and is widespread in the St. Lawrence basin in northern New York; with scattered records elsewhere (Strayer and Jirka, 1997). In Maryland, it is known from the Upper Potomac, Washington Metro, and Susquehanna River drainages but is believed to be only extant in a few localities in the Upper Potomac (Bogan and Proch, 1995) to the North Branch Potomac (Patterson Creek) in neighboring West Virginia (Clayton et al., 2001). South Carolina maintains occurences in the Savannah, Cooper-Santee, Pee Dee, and Waccamaw River basins (Bogan and Alderman, 2004). Recently, it was found in 11 sites in fairly low numbers (max. 11) in the Pee Dee River drainage (Little Pee Dee River, Great Pee Dee River) in South Carolina (Catena Group, 2006). Alderman (2006) found it in the Congaree and Broad Rivers, South Carolina. In North Carolina, it is known sparingly from the Pee Dee, Waccamaw (including Lake Waccamaw- Johnson, 1984), Cape Fear, Neuse, and Pamlico basins (Johnson, 1970; Bogan, 2002; Stiven and Alderman, 1992) as well as Chowan River (Alderman and Alderman, 2009) with occurrences in Alamance (extirpated), Anson, Bladen, Chatham, Columbus, Cumberland, Davie, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Harnett, Johnston, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, Orange, Pender, Person, Pitt (extirpated), Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, and Vance Cos. (LeGrand et al., 2006). Within Georgia, it is found in portions of the Ogeechee River drainage only in east/southeast part of the state with a few individuals in the upper Broad River (GA NHP, pers. comm., March 2007); however recent surveys by Sukkestad et al. (2006) could not find occurrences of this species in the Canoochee/ Lower Ogeechee Rivers in Georgia. In Canada, this species is currently known from only two localities: the Sydney River and Blacketts Lake, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia (Clarke and Rick, 1964; Sabine et al., 2004), and the Saint John River and tributaries (Salmon, Jemseg, Oromocto, Canaan Rivers, Grand Lake), New Brunswick (Sabine et al., 2004) (COSEWIC, 2004; Metcalfe-Smith and Cudmore-Vokey, 2004; Davis, 1999). It persists in the lower Saint John River and tributaries, New Brunswick, despite range contraction over the past century (Sabine et al., 2004).

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Most occurrences consist of few individuals, however some extensive occurrences still exist. Estimates of the best site in the Saint John River in New Brunswick approach 2 million individuals; and 2.5 million for the entire Sydney River in Nova Scotia (Sabine et al., 2004).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: This species is in decline nearly everywhere it occurs. The best occurrences are probably in Maine in the Sebasticook River, St. George River, middle Penobscot River, and Passadumkeag River (Nedeau et al., 2000). The Saint John River population in New Brunswick is viable with a few million individuals (Metcalfe-Smith and Cudmore-Vokey, 2004; COSEWIC, 2004).

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: This species is in decline almost everywhere it occurs (e.g. almost extirpated in CT, nearly extirpated in MA). In recent times, it is never found in high numbers. No direct harvest has occurred for this species. The species appears to be mildly tolerant of eutrophication and siltation but susceptible to toxins. Given extent or range, overall threats of declining water quality are limited. The introduced zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, will have negative impacts on this species, especially in slow flowing waters of larger streams and in lakes.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: This species appears to have declined recently in southern portion of range (Maryland through Georgia), as well as in New Brunswick and New England. In Maine, it is found in relatively few sites and population densities are often very low (Nedeau et al., 2000). In Massachusetts, it was thought extirpated until a population was discovered in the Connecticut River in 1996-1999; it is still extirpated from the Merrimack River system (Smith, 2000). It is nearly extirpated from Connecticut (Nedeau and Victoria, 2003; Victoria, 2006). More dramatic is the decline in area of occupancy (perhaps as high as 50%) as most occurrences have few individuals and poor viability.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: It has been extirpated from Delaware (known from Delaware River- USNM specimens), New Hampshire, and Washington D.C.. In New Brunswick, it has been lost a century ago from the Kennebecasis river basin but the population in the nearby Lower Saint John still remains Canada's best (COSEWIC, 2004).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Some populations are very localized and in danger of complete loss due to catastrophic events. In a study of genetic variation within and among populations in the northern part of the range, Kelly and Rhymer (2005) significant differences likely due to low effective population sizes indicating populations achieved drift-migration equilibrium rapidly following glaciation 8000-10,000 years ago (populations exhibited significant isolation by distance).

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: The species is limited to flowing water of medium to large rivers. It has also been reported (primarily historically) from ponds in northern portions of range.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Lowland rivers of South Carolina require inventory; Connecticut requires inventory to determine if truly extirpated.

Protection Needs: Protection of water quality needed.

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) This species has a large geographic range, from Nova Scotia to Georgia in Atlantic drainages, and in St. Lawrence River system westward to Ontario. While many historic occurrences are extirpated, the species still occurs in numbers in a few places, and the wide range is actually represented by several disjunct populations. Some sites have problematic identifications. In Canada, it is currently known from only two localities: Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and Fredericton, New Brunswick (COSEWIC, 2004). In the Atlantic Slope, it occurs east of the Appalachian Mountains from the Sydney River, Nova Scotia, to the Ogeechee River, Georgia (likely historical only- see Sukkestad et al., 2006), South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut (thought extirpated but barely hanging on in the lower Connecticut River), Massachusetts, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Recently, the species has contracted its range in most of the southern states and populations are in decline and disappearing nearly everywhere. Populations persist in the lower Saint John River and tributaries, New Brunswick, despite range contraction over the past century (Sabine et al., 2004).

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CT, DC, DE, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NHextirpated, NJ, NY, PA, SC, VA, WV
Canada NB, NS

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CT Hartford (09003), Middlesex (09007)
GA Banks (13011), Bryan (13029), Bulloch (13031), Burke (13033), Effingham (13103), Franklin (13119), Jefferson (13163), Jenkins (13165), Lincoln (13181)*, Screven (13251), Washington (13303)
MA Essex (25009)*, Franklin (25011), Hampden (25013), Hampshire (25015), Plymouth (25023)*
MD Carroll (24013), Charles (24017), Frederick (24021), Montgomery (24031)*, Washington (24043)
NC Alamance (37001), Anson (37007), Bladen (37017)*, Chatham (37037), Columbus (37047), Cumberland (37051), Davie (37059), Durham (37063), Edgecombe (37065), Franklin (37069), Gates (37073), Granville (37077), Halifax (37083), Harnett (37085), Hertford (37091), Johnston (37101), Lee (37105), Montgomery (37123), Moore (37125), Nash (37127), Northampton (37131), Orange (37135), Pender (37141)*, Person (37145), Pitt (37147), Randolph (37151), Richmond (37153), Rockingham (37157), Rowan (37159), Sampson (37163)*, Stanly (37167), Vance (37181)
NJ Bergen (34003)*, Burlington (34005), Camden (34007), Essex (34013)*, Gloucester (34015)*, Hudson (34017)*, Hunterdon (34019), Mercer (34021), Passaic (34031)*, Somerset (34035)*, Sussex (34037), Warren (34041)
NY Albany (36001)*, Broome (36007), Chemung (36015), Chenango (36017), Cortland (36023), Delaware (36025), Dutchess (36027), Franklin (36033), Jefferson (36045), Madison (36053), Orange (36071), Otsego (36077), Rensselaer (36083)*, Schenectady (36093), Schoharie (36095), St. Lawrence (36089), Steuben (36101), Sullivan (36105), Tioga (36107)
PA Adams (42001), Bedford (42009), Bradford (42015), Bucks (42017), Columbia (42037), Cumberland (42041), Dauphin (42043), Franklin (42055), Huntingdon (42061), Juniata (42067), Lackawanna (42069), Lancaster (42071), Luzerne (42079), Lycoming (42081), Mifflin (42087), Monroe (42089), Montour (42093), Northampton (42095), Northumberland (42097), Perry (42099), Philadelphia (42101)*, Snyder (42109), Susquehanna (42115), Union (42119), Wayne (42127), Wyoming (42131), York (42133)
SC Allendale (45005), Barnwell (45011), Darlington (45031), Edgefield (45037), Florence (45041), Jasper (45053), Marion (45067), Marlboro (45069), McCormick (45065)
VA Brunswick (51025), Chesterfield (51041)*, Colonial Heights (City) (51570)*, Dinwiddie (51053), Emporia (City) (51595), Franklin (51067)*, Greensville (51081), Hanover (51085), King William (51101), King and Queen (51097), Loudoun (51107), Lunenburg (51111), Mecklenburg (51117), Nottoway (51135), Petersburg (City) (51730)*, Shenandoah (51171)*, Southampton (51175), Sussex (51183), Warren (51187)*
WV Mineral (54057)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 West Branch Penobscot (01020001), East Branch Penobscot (01020002), Mattawamkeag (01020003), Piscataquis (01020004), Lower Penobscot (01020005), Lower Kennebec (01030003), Lower Androscoggin (01040002), St. George-Sheepscot (01050003), Merrimack (01070002)*, Middle Connecticut (01080201)+, Lower Connecticut (01080205)+, Farmington (01080207)+, Housatonic (01100005)*
02 Hudson-Hoosic (02020003)+*, Mohawk (02020004)*, Schoharie (02020005)+, Middle Hudson (02020006)+*, Hudson-Wappinger (02020008)+, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+*, Raritan (02030105)+, Upper Delaware (02040101)+, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)*, Upper Susquehanna (02050101)+, Chenango (02050102)+, Owego-Wappasening (02050103)+, Tioga (02050104)+, Chemung (02050105)+, Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock (02050106)+, Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna (02050107)+, Lower West Branch Susquehanna (02050206)+, Lower Susquehanna-Penns (02050301)+, Upper Juniata (02050302)+, Raystown (02050303)+, Lower Juniata (02050304)+, Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305)+, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+, Conococheague-Opequon (02070004)+, North Fork Shenandoah (02070006)+, Middle Potomac-Catoctin (02070008)+, Monocacy (02070009)+, Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan (02070010)+, Mattaponi (02080105)+, Pamunkey (02080106)+, Appomattox (02080207)+*
03 Upper Roanoke (03010101)+, Upper Dan (03010103)+, Lower Roanoke (03010107)+, Nottoway (03010201)+, Blackwater (03010202)*, Ghowan (03010203)+, Meheriin (03010204)+, Upper Tar (03020101)+, Fishing (03020102)+, Lower Tar (03020103)+, Pamlico (03020104), Upper Neuse (03020201)+, Haw (03030002)+, Deep (03030003)+, Upper Cape Fear (03030004)+, Lower Cape Fear (03030005)+, Black (03030006)+, South Yadkin (03040102)+, Upper Pee Dee (03040104)+, Lower Pee Dee (03040201)+, Little Pee Dee (03040204), Waccamaw (03040206)+, Carolina Coastal-Sampit (03040207)+, Congaree (03050110), Santee (03050112), Cooper (03050201), Upper Savannah (03060103)+*, Broad (03060104)+, Middle Savannah (03060106)+, Stevens (03060107)+, Lower Savannah (03060109)+, Calibogue Sound-Wright River (03060110)+, Upper Ogeechee (03060201)+, Lower Ogeechee (03060202)+, Canoochee (03060203), Ogeechee Coastal (03060204)
04 Irondequoit-Ninemile (04140101)*, Salmon-Sandy (04140102)*, Oneida (04140202), Oswegatchie (04150302)+, Grass (04150304)+, Raquette (04150305)+, St. Regis (04150306)+, English-Salmon (04150307)+
CV CV-17 (CV-17)+*, CV-19 (CV-19)+*, CV-26 (CV-26)+*
ME ME-20 (ME-20)+*
+ 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 medium-sized freshwater freshwater bivalve with rounded inflated shell, periostracum yellowish and smooth with rays, if present, restricted to posterior slope.
General Description: Shell subovate or ovate in females, elliptical in males. Anterior margin rounded. Ventral margin gently curved in males, in females curvature is more acute posteriorly. Posterior margin is slightly curved. Posterior tending to be pointed in males. The dorsal margin is sinuate, with recurvature in the umbonal region. Beaks located about 1/3 of length from anterior end. Shell is solid. Periostracum tends to be smooth. Periostracum is yellowish to greenish yellow darkening or reddening in older adults (Johnson,1970). Rays, if present, are restricted to posterior slope. Ligament is located posterior of beaks, and is well developed but rather short. Nacre is white or bluish-white. Dentition is well developed. Typically two pseudocardinals in each valve, although anterior tooth in right valve maybe highly reduced. Pseudocardinals tend to be compressed, triangular and serrate. The posterior tooth in each valve tends to be thicker. Teeth typically oriented obliquely to hinge line. Lateral teeth present, 2 in left valve and one in right. Lateral teeth slightly curved and rather short. Right lateral tends to be abruptly truncate at posterior end. There is a distinct and relatively long interdentum between pseudocardinal and lateral teeth. Females possess a mantle flap posterior to dark "eyespot" on ventral margin. See Johnson (1970) for a complete description and photographs.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Yellowish, smooth periostracum with rays, if present, restricted to posterior slope. Shell heavy with well developed dentition. LEPTODEA OCHRACEA may be confused with LAMPSILIS CARIOSA; however, thinness of its shell and raying over entirety of shell will separate the species. Also, L. OCHRACEA has delicate teeth, with lamellar pseudocardinals that are parallel, or nearly so, to the hinge line. Female L. OCHRACEA do not have a mantle flap in the posterior ventral region while LAMPSILIS CARIOSA females do. LAMPSILIS CROCATA is somewhat similar but can be differentiated by its green or brownish periostracum, relatively thin shell, and fine raying over entire shell (Alderman, 1990).
Reproduction Comments: Reproductive biology of Lampsilis cariosa has not been extensively studied. It is a long-term brooder with eggs fertilized in late summer and glochidia released the following spring. Confirmed host fish include yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and white perch (Morone americana) in coastal areas (Wick and Huryn, 2003; Wick, 2005).
Ecology Comments: No definitive studies. Mussel literature consists primarily of taxonomy, systematics, distribution, and life history of the taxa. No ecological studies of this species exist. It appears to be a species negatively affected by eutrophication and siltation.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Adults are essentially sessile. Passive movement downstream may occur. Dispersal via glochidia encysted in fish.
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Riffle
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This is considered to be a species of larger streams and rivers, typically found in sand and gravel where good current exists (Johnson, 1970). It has also been reported (primarily historically) from ponds in northern portions of range, but generally prefers flowing water. Riddick (1973) reports this species from clay banks in Virginia. Generally, however, it is a species of medium to large rivers, preferring hard water, stable low gradient, lowland rivers and streams and that stream size probably most important factor (> 1200 sq. km) (Strayer, 1993; COSEWIC, 2004).
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore
Immature Food Habits: Parasitic
Food Comments: Glochidia (larval form) of freshwater mussels typically parasitic on fish. Host specificity varies among species; host unidentified for LAMPSILIS CARIOSA. Adult mussels are filter filters. General literature has assumed that plankton constitute majority of food. Recent studies indicate that detritus is the primary energy source (James, 1987).
Phenology Comments: No published information except for period of adult brooding of eggs/glochidia. Ortmann (1919) reported eggs and immature glochidia present in August indicating that the species probably broods over-winter releasing glochidia the following spring, (i.e., it is a long-term brooder).
Length: 7 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: The determination of population status and trends of local occurrences. Element occurrences that are A rank or that represent best known occurrences in a given state should be monitored biannually as resources allow. Fish host(s) need to be determined. Documentation of the differences between extirpated and extant element occurrences should be performed as possible to determine causes of extirpation.

In a study of genetic variation within and among populations in the northern part of the range, Kelly and Rhymer (2005) significant differences likely due to low effective population sizes indicating populations achieved dirft-migration equilibrium rapidly following glaciation 8000-10,000 years ago (populations exhibited significant isolation by distance). Kelly and Rhymer (2005) recommend that Lampsilis cariosa from separate drainages in Maine (and hence throughout the global range because Maine houses the best populations known globally) be treated as separate management units, and that the species should be managed to maintain the significant level of genetic variation existing among populations.

Restoration Potential: There appears to be some ecological tolerance for moderately impacted environments, at least in the northern portion of the range. The general habitat, over the broad range, still exists in abundance. The alteration of water quality and the benthic microhabitats may be factors in determining its decline and or absence, where it has occurred. Greater knowledge of tolerance in impacted environments and of competitive interactions with introduced bivalves is needed before active restoration is undertaken.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Elimination of impacts to water quality is the main consideration. This includes the provision for sufficient buffers to prevent siltation, eutrophication, and toxic runoff into waters in which there is an element occurrence. For a relatively large watershed, this is possibly unfeasible; however, local protection can be significant.

Protection from take could be a significant benefit of a preserve. A significant consideration is the ability to protect the site from colonization by zebra mussel, DREISSENA POLYMORPHA.

Kelly and Rhymer (2005) recommend that Lampsilis cariosa from separate drainages in Maine be treated as separate management units, and that the species should be managed to maintain the significant level of genetic variation existing among populations; and should also be managed to maintain natural connectivity between populations.

Management Requirements: Management needs include the maintenance of water quality, including the reduction of siltation, pollution, and eutrophication. The host fish species must be maintained within the element occurrence for successful reproduction. Transplantation can be done successfully for adult mussels; however, the long term fate of such transplanted populations is uncertain. See the General Freshwater Mussel ESA, Fuller (1974), or Havlik and Marking (1987) for additional information on pollutants requiring control.
Monitoring Requirements: Monitoring requires determination of the density or relative density of individuals and the presence of young cohorts. For accurately determining the presence of mussels, waterscoping is required and snorkeling is recommended. Populations should be monitored either with density measures such as quadrat sampling or by recording the number of individuals found along a transect or within a specific time interval. Sampling effort to find rare mussels is frequently difficult to quantify; however, Kovalak et. al.(1986) provides a useful review of the topic and guidance on the issue. In general, it will be best to concentrate effort on the known habitats of this species. Monitoring is best accomplished during periods of low flow, typically in summer. Unusual drought or water level drops should be taken advantage of to reach areas typically not accessible. Also, a mussel population may have a significant portion of the population in a temporarily endobenthic (buried) state not visible from the surface (Amyot and Downing, 1991).

To avoid excessive disturbance from annual monitoring, monitoring programs may require only biannual visits. It is extremely important that live mussels handled during monitoring are appropriately replaced in the substrate. Failing to replace mussels into the substrate or placing them in an improper orientation can be fatal. Proper orientation requires that the anterior end be in the substrate. It is typically best to avoid handling mussels when they are at the end of the gravid period and ready to discharge glochidia. When fish host(s) are reported, monitoring should include these fish(es) in some manner.

Management Research Needs: Fish host for glochidia is unknown. Research into the impacts of siltation, pollution, and eutrophication are required. Habitat requirements and interaction with host habitat requirements are needed. Effects of exotic bivalves on native mussels needs research as does control measures for the exotics.

The glochidial host should be identified. The broad range of L. CARIOSA indicates a common host species or that a number of hosts are used.

Ongoing research into the ecology of the DREISSENA POLYMORPHA should be examined as this species has been predicted to exhibit thermal tolerance such that it can potentially invade the majority of the range of LAMPSILIS CARIOSA (Strayer, 1990); however, DREISSENA POLYMORPHA appears to be excluded from streams under 10 meters in width and has a low ability to colonize streams from 10 m to 30 m wide (Strayer, 1990).

Biological Research Needs: Additional fish host determination, reproductive biology. Potomac Basin genetic work to distinguish hybridization effects.
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: 23Dec2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.
Management Information Edition Date: 12Jun2007
Management Information Edition Author: Cordeiro, J. (2007); Stevenson, Phil (1992)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 23Dec2011
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
Help
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  • Alderman, John A. 1990. Lampsilis cariosa (Say, 1817) Yellow Lampmussel. pages 97-100. [in] A Report on the conservation status of North Carolina's freshwater and terrestrial molluscan fauna. Scientific Council on Freshwater and Terrestrial Mollusks. Raleigh, NC. 283 pages.

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References for Watershed Distribution Map
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