Lampsilis abrupta - (Say, 1831)
Pink Mucket
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lampsilis abrupta (Say, 1831) (TSN 80015)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.114659
Element Code: IMBIV21110
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
Image 11993

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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 abrupta
Taxonomic Comments: Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri populations may represent another undescribed species (Gordon, pers. comm. 1993).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 29Apr2009
Global Status Last Changed: 16Jun1998
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: The overall range of this once very widespread species has diminished, but this species was always considered rare whenever it was found and it seems to be surviving and reproducing in sections of river that have been altered by impoundments. More dramatic has been the decline in area of occupancy (probably greater than 30%) as it continues to be found in historical sites but often only in very low numbers. Although currently known from a few dozen localities, most are represented by very few individuals and have poor viability. If populations west of the Mississippi River prove to be a different species the conservation status will need to be reevaluated.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2 (16Jun1998)

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), Arkansas (S2), Illinois (S1), Indiana (SX), Kentucky (S1), Louisiana (S1), Missouri (S2), New York (SH), Ohio (S1), Pennsylvania (SH), Tennessee (S2), Virginia (SX), West Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

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

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species has historically been considered as an Ohioan and Interior Basin species in origin. It was formerly scattered throughout the Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio and Cumberland river systems (USFWS, 1985). Historical occurrences (all rare and represented by few, if any, live individuals) include the Flint River, Alabama; Limestone Creek, Alabama; Duck River; Holston River; French Broad River; Cumberland River; Clinch River; Obey River; Ohio River; Allegheny River; Elk River, West Virginia; Kanawha River, West Virginia; Scioto River; Muskingum River; White River, Indiana; Wabash River, Indiana and Illinois; Mississippi River, Illinois and Iowa; Illinois River; Ouachita River and Old River, Arkansas; Black River; Sac River, Missouri; and St. Francis River, Missouri (see USFWS, 1985). It was historically known from at least 25 river systems with a widespread distribution (USFWS, 1985). It is now extirpated in Ohio except possibly small parts of the Ohio River (Watters, 1995; Matthews and Moseley, 1990; Cummings and Mayer, 1997), and is completely extirpated from Pennsylvania (Bogan, 1993) and New York (Strayer and Jirka, 1997).

Area of Occupancy: 501-12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Matthews and Moseley (1990) reported 20 sites. In Alabama, it currently is rare in riverine reaches downstream of Wilson and Guntersville Dams (rare) and single gravid female from Bear Creek, Colbert County (Mirarchi et al., 2004; Williams et al., 2008). In Louisiana, Vidrine (1993) reports it from only Bayou Bartholemew. In Missouri it is found in the St. Francis River and the Sac River; with specimens from the mouth of the Bourbeuse River to the mouth of the Meramec River with other populations (possibly historical) in the lower Big River, lower Meramec River, Little Black and lower Osage Rivers (Oesch, 1995). In Tennessee, this species has been found living in the tailwaters of several dams, and there is a localized relict population in the Cumberland River, Smith Co., but all individuals appear very old. It is nearly gone from the upper and middle stretches of the Tennessee River with a stable population below Pickwick Landing Dam in Hardin Co. and populations in the Cumberland River are also localized while occasional individuals can be found in several small to medium-sized tributaries of large rivers including the Holston, French Broad, and upper Clinch Rivers (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In Ohio it is in the Ohio River mainstem in very few sites bordering West Virginia (Watters et al., 2009) and in Greenup dam pool in Ohio/Kentucky (Watters and Flaute, 2010). Tolin et al. (1987) report the upper free-flowing 3.5 miles of the Kanawha River and the mainstem of the Ohio River (at depth) at the West Virginia border. Taylor and Horn (1983) also included the Kanawha and Elk Rivers in West Virginia. In Arkansas, it is known from between river miles 50.5 and 161.5 of the Black River, the Ouachita River (Posey et al., 1996), White River (Gordon, 1982- upper White; Christian, 1995), and 18 km of the Spring River (Harris et al., 1997; Harris and Gordon, 1987) In Kentucky, it is sporadic in the lower Ohio River to the Licking River (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003).

Population Size: 2500 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: This species has never been collected in large numbers from any one site or drainage (USFWS, 1985). Most surveys only find one to five individuals. Low populations found in three major drainages in Missouri. Rust (1993) cncountered 31 live individuals from 19 of 48 aggregations in a 175 km reach of the Black River in Arkansas with maximum aggregation of five individuals (population estimate 500 +-102); and 11 specimens from 4 of 6 sites in 18 km of the Spring River in Arkansas with maximum aggregation of 5 (population estimate 121+-24). Posey (1997) found 9 total specimens at 8 sites in teh Ouachita River. Christian (1995) found a single specimen at 4 of 51 sites in the White River, Arkansas.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: During the time the recovery plan (USFWS, 1985) was drafted, 16 different rivers supported populations and the most stable populations were considered to occur in the Tennessee, Cumberland, Osage, and Meramec Rivers; as well as potentially in the Kanawha River below Kanawha Falls in West Virginia. Today, the species has been found living in the tailwaters of several dams in Tennessee, and there is a localized relict population in the Cumberland River, Smith Co., but all individuals appear very old. It is nearly gone from the upper and middle stretches of the Tennessee River with a stable population below Pickwick Landing Dam in Hardin Co. and populations in the Cumberland River are also localized while occasional individuals can be found in several small to medium-sized tributaries of large rivers including the Holston, French Broad, and upper Clinch Rivers (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In Missouri it is found in the St. Francis River and the Sac River; with specimens still found from the mouth of the Bourbeuse River to the mouth of the Meramec River with other populations (possibly historical) in the lower Big River, lower Meramec River, Little Black and lower Osage Rivers (Oesch, 1995). Tolin et al. (1987) report the upper free-flowing 3.5 miles of the Kanawha River and the mainstem of the Ohio River (at depth) at the West Virginia border still support populations. Populations appear stable but low in the Black, Oucahita, and Spring River, Arkansas (Harris et al., 1997). Most occurrences in Kentucky are represented by very few individuals where it occurs sporadically in the lower Ohio River to the Licking River (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003).

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Known threats include modification of habitat (e.g., dams and dredging), degradation of water quality, and over harvest by commercial mussel industry. Also, siltation, pollution, and channelization in Ohio. For more detailed threats to mussels refer to General Freshwater Mussel ESA.

Continued threats to the survival of this species include alteration or destruction of stream habitat due to impoundment for flood control, navigation, hydroelectric power, and recreation; siltation due to strip mining, coal washing, dredging, farming, logging, and road construction; and pollution from municipal, industrial, and agricultural waste discharges (USFWS, 1985).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: It was historically known from 25 rivers and tributaries (USFWS, 1985). In 1990 known from 16 rivers and tributaries (Matthews and Moseley 1990). It is state extirpated in Illinois (Cummings and Mayer, 1997) and Indiana (IN NHP, pers. comm., 2009). In Tennessee, it has all but disappeared from the upper and middle stretches of the Tennessee River and emaining populations in the Cumberland River tend to be localized and small (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Fisher (2006) lists it as recently extirpated from the Wabash drainage in Indiana.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: It was historically known from at least 25 river systems with a widespread distribution but was never collected in large numbers from any one site or drainage and was always considered rare (USFWS, 1985). For example, Wilson and Clarke (1914) reported one to three specimens from each mussel bed they collected in the middle portion of the Cumberland River. Ortmann (1919) reported it rare in the Monongahela River (only one specimen found) and the Allegheny River (only a few specimens found) as well as a few dozen in clam heaps (from harvest) further down the Ohio River. Ortmann (1925) reported it as rarely occurring in the Tennessee River up to the lower Clinch River near Knoxville, Tennessee. Other historical occurrences (all rare and represented by few, if any, live individuals) include the Flint River, Alabama; Limestone Creek, Alabama; Duck River; Holston River; French Broad River; Cumberland River; Clinch River; Obey River; Ohio River; Allegheny River; Elk River, West Virginia; Kanawha River, West Virginia; Scioto River; Muskingum River; White River, Indiana; Wabash River, Indiana and Illinois; Mississippi River, Illinois and Iowa; Illinois River; Ouachita River and Old River, Arkansas; Black River; Sac River, Missouri; and St. Francis River, Missouri (see USFWS, 1985). It historically occurred in Pennsylvania in the Upper Ohio, Lower Monongahela, and Middle Allegheny-Redbank drainages (Ortmann, 1919) but is now extirpated (Spoo, 2008). In Ohio, it is extirpated from the Muskingum River and Scioto River and much of the Ohio River (Watters et al., 2009). In Alabama, it historically occurred in the entire reach of the Tennessee River across northern Alabama but currently occurs only in riverine reaches downstream of Wilson and Guntersville Dams plus a single individual in Bear Creek (Mirarchi et al., 2004). It is extirpated from the McAlpine dam pool in the Ohio River at Louisville, Kentucky (and Indiana) (Watters and Flaute, 2010).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Characterized as a large river species (Dennis, 1984) associated with fast-flowing waters, although in recent years it has been able to survive and reproduce in impoundments with river-lake conditions but never in standing pools of water (USFWS, 1985). Found in waters with strong currents, rocky or boulder substrates, with depths up to about 1 m, but is also found in deeper waters with slower currents and sand and gravel substrates (Gordon and Layzer, 1989; USFWS, 1985). Despite extensive declines historically, the species appears to have adapted somewhat to existence in impounded sections of big rivers. Rarer occurrence of this species in smaller streams such as the Clinch River and Paint Rock River may result from sub-optimal habitat for this otherwise large river species (USFWS, 1985).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)) This species has historically been considered as an Ohioan and Interior Basin species in origin. It was formerly scattered throughout the Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio and Cumberland river systems (USFWS, 1985). Historical occurrences (all rare and represented by few, if any, live individuals) include the Flint River, Alabama; Limestone Creek, Alabama; Duck River; Holston River; French Broad River; Cumberland River; Clinch River; Obey River; Ohio River; Allegheny River; Elk River, West Virginia; Kanawha River, West Virginia; Scioto River; Muskingum River; White River, Indiana; Wabash River, Indiana and Illinois; Mississippi River, Illinois and Iowa; Illinois River; Ouachita River and Old River, Arkansas; Black River; Sac River, Missouri; and St. Francis River, Missouri (see USFWS, 1985). It was historically known from at least 25 river systems with a widespread distribution (USFWS, 1985). It is now extirpated in Ohio except possibly small parts of the Ohio River (Watters, 1995; Matthews and Moseley, 1990; Cummings and Mayer, 1997), and is completely extirpated from Pennsylvania (Bogan, 1993) and New York (Strayer and Jirka, 1997).

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, AR, IL, INextirpated, KY, LA, MO, NY, OH, PA, TN, VAextirpated, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Colbert (01033), Jackson (01071), Lauderdale (01077), Limestone (01083), Madison (01089), Marshall (01095), Morgan (01103)
AR Arkansas (05001), Ashley (05003), Baxter (05005), Bradley (05011), Calhoun (05013), Clark (05019), Clay (05021), Cleveland (05025), Dallas (05039), Drew (05043), Grant (05053), Hot Spring (05059), Independence (05063), Jackson (05067), Lawrence (05075), Little River (05081), Monroe (05095), Nevada (05099), Ouachita (05103), Prairie (05117), Randolph (05121), Saline (05125), Sharp (05135), White (05145), Woodruff (05147)
IL Massac (17127)
IN Daviess (18027)*, Gibson (18051)*, Knox (18083)*, Perry (18123)*, Posey (18129)*, Vigo (18167)*
KY Bath (21011), Boone (21015)*, Butler (21031), Campbell (21037)*, Carroll (21041)*, Cumberland (21057)*, Edmonson (21061), Greenup (21089)*, Hart (21099), Henderson (21101)*, Hickman (21105), Jefferson (21111)*, Kenton (21117)*, Lewis (21135)*, Livingston (21139), Lyon (21143)*, Marshall (21157), McCracken (21145), Ohio (21183), Oldham (21185)*, Pendleton (21191), Rowan (21205), Russell (21207)*, Spencer (21215)*, Warren (21227), Wayne (21231)*
LA Morehouse (22067)
MO Butler (29023), Cedar (29039)*, Cole (29051), Franklin (29071), Gasconade (29073), Jefferson (29099), Maries (29125), Miller (29131), Osage (29151), Ripley (29181), St. Clair (29185), St. Louis (29189), Wayne (29223)
OH Gallia (39053), Lawrence (39087), Meigs (39105), Morgan (39115)*, Washington (39167)
PA Allegheny (42003)*, Armstrong (42005)*, Beaver (42007)*, Washington (42125)*, Westmoreland (42129)*
TN Anderson (47001)*, Benton (47005), Claiborne (47025), Clay (47027)*, Davidson (47037)*, DeKalb (47041)*, Decatur (47039), Grainger (47057), Greene (47059), Hamilton (47065), Hancock (47067), Hardin (47071), Hickman (47081), Humphreys (47085), Jefferson (47089), Knox (47093), Lincoln (47103), Loudon (47105), Marion (47115), Marshall (47117), Meigs (47121), Putnam (47141)*, Rhea (47143), Roane (47145), Smith (47159), Stewart (47161)*, Trousdale (47169)*, Wilson (47189)
VA Scott (51169)*
WV Cabell (54011), Fayette (54019), Kanawha (54039), Mason (54053), Wood (54107)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Niagara (04120104)*
05 Middle Allegheny-Redbank (05010006)+*, Lower Monongahela (05020005)+*, Upper Ohio (05030101)+*, Upper Ohio-Shade (05030202)+, Muskingum (05040004)+, Upper Kanawha (05050006)+, Elk (05050007)+, Upper Scioto (05060001)*, Lower Scioto (05060002)*, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)+, Little Scioto-Tygarts (05090103)+*, Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+*, Licking (05100101)+, Lower Kentucky (05100205)*, Upper Green (05110001)+, Barren (05110002)+, Middle Green (05110003)+, Lower Green (05110005)+*, Tippecanoe (05120106), Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)*, Vermilion (05120109)*, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+*, Lower Wabash (05120113)+*, Upper White (05120201)*, Lower White (05120202)+*, Muscatatuck (05120207), Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+*, Obey (05130105)+, Caney (05130108)+*, Lower Cumberland-Old Hickory Lake (05130201)+, Lower Cumberland-Sycamore (05130202)+*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+*, Salt (05140102)+*, Lower Ohio-Little Pigeon (05140201)+, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)*, Lower Ohio (05140206)+
06 Holston (06010104)+, Lower French Broad (06010107)+, Nolichucky (06010108)+, Watts Bar Lake (06010201)+, Upper Clinch (06010205)+, Lower Clinch (06010207)+, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Guntersville Lake (06030001)+, Wheeler Lake (06030002)+, Upper Elk (06030003)+, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+, Bear (06030006)+, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001)+, Upper Duck (06040002)+, Lower Duck (06040003)+, Kentucky Lake (06040005)+, Lower Tennessee (06040006)+
07 Meramec (07140102)+, Bourbeuse (07140103)+, Big (07140104)+
08 Lower Mississippi-Memphis (08010100)+, Upper St. Francis (08020202), Lower White-Bayou Des Arc (08020301)+, Cache (08020302), Lower White (08020303)+, Upper Ouachita (08040102)+, Little Missouri (08040103)+, Lower Ouachita-Smackover (08040201)+, Lower Ouachita-Bayou De Loutre (08040202), Upper Saline (08040203)+, Lower Saline (08040204)+, Bayou Bartholomew (08040205)+, Tensas (08050003)*
10 Sac (10290106)+, Pomme De Terre (10290107), Lower Osage (10290111)+, Lower Gasconade (10290203)+
11 Middle White (11010004)+, Buffalo (11010005)*, North Fork White (11010006)+, Upper Black (11010007)+, Current (11010008)+, Lower Black (11010009)+, Spring (11010010)+, Eleven Point (11010011)+, Upper White-Village (11010013)+, Illinois (11110103), Poteau (11110105), Lower Little (11140109)+
+ 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 freshwater mussel
General Description: Shell of the male is a circle drawn out posteriorly and the female shell is truncated posteriorly almost forming a square, shell thick and stout, periostracum is yellowish brown to chestnut brown in mature specimens, rays are usually absent. See Bogan (1993) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1985) for more detailed descriptions and figures.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Can be easily confused with Lampsilis higginsi although the former is lighter in color, less inflated and more "humped". Young shells are more elongated and the beaks are less elevated than L. higginsi.
Reproduction Comments: This species is a long-term breeder (bradytictic) becoming gravid in August. Glochidia are found in females in September, and are discharged the following June (Ortmann, 1912; 1919). The sauger (Stizostedion canadense) and the freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) were identified as host fish for the glochidia by Fuller (1974), although Surber (1913) lists the sauger as the host fish for the closely related Lampsilis higginsi. In laboratory studies by Barnhart et al. (1997), the following fish were identified as suitable glochidial hosts: largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui), spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) and walleye (Stizostedion vitreum). One host, Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass), is capable of acquired resistance to glochidial infection following repeated infection attempts in the laboratory (Dodd et al., 2005).

The hookless glochidia are reported to be found in two sizes, with smaller glochidia more common (Ortmann, 1911).

Females of the genus Lampsilis are unique in possessing a mantle flap which may serve to attract host fish (Kraemer, 1970). An eyespot, which could make the mantle flap appear even more like a fish, has been observed in Lampsilis abrupta (USFWS, 1985).

Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: This species probably is rather sessile with only limited movement in the substrate. Passive downstream movement may occur when mussels are displaced from the substrate during floods. Major dispersal occurs while glochidia are encysted on their hosts.

Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, High gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Riffle
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Characterized as a large river species (Dennis, 1984) associated with fast-flowing waters, although in recent years it has been able to survive and reproduce in impoundments with river-lake conditions but never in standing pools of water (USFWS, 1985). Found in waters with strong currents, rocky or boulder substrates, with depths up to about 1 m, but is also found in deeper waters with slower currents and sand and gravel substrates (Gordon and Layzer, 1989; USFWS, 1985).
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore
Immature Food Habits: Parasitic
Length: 10.5 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This species was listed as federally endangered in the U.S. in 1976 and a recovery plan (USFWS, 1985) was drafted. Recovery objectives include: (1) conduct population and habitat surveys, (2) preserve populations and present habitat, (3) develope education programs.
Restoration Potential: Many areas of historical element occurrences cannot be restored because of river impoundment. Other former habitats probably can be recovered if water quality is sufficiently upgraded and mussels are reintroduced. Some small transplants of the closely related L. HIGGINSI appear to have been successful (e.g., Oblad, 1980).

In terms of species density and definition of appropriate habitat, the element occurrences located below dam outfalls may be more manageable. In Tennessee, these areas are presently protected to some degree because they are off limits to commercial mussel fishing.

Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Because this species is found in large rivers which have been extensively modified, it would be difficult to manage many element occurrences because of conflicting interests. Sites such as Pendelton Island can be managed by prohibiting upstream impoundments, encouraging wise land use practices in the watershed to minimize siltation to the river from construction and agriculture, and monitoring water quality.
Management Requirements: Maintenance of flowing water conditions and suitable water quality. Location of element occurrences near municipal or industrial wastewater outfalls necessitates frequent monitoring of water quality in the vicinity.
Monitoring Requirements: Location of element occurrences near municipal or industrial wastewater outfalls necessitates frequent monitoring of water quality in the vicinity. Periodic site visits should be made (at least quarterly) to monitor element occurrences and check on the general 'health' of the community. At least annually, a more detailed assessment of age class structure of the species (to determine whether the species is successfully reproducing), and a survey of other bivalves present in the habitat. Quarterly measurements of primary productivity would give an indication of food available to the mussels, while turbidity measurements could be used to monitor silt inputs to the stream.
Management Research Needs: Determine specific ecological requirements (minimum water flow required, substrate preferences, influences of water temperature and food quality on growth rates, etc.) of the mussel, as well as the efffects of particular pollutants.
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); Dirrigl Jr., Frank; Morrison, M. (1998)
Management Information Edition Date: 26May2007
Management Information Edition Author: Cordeiro, J. (2007); LAURITSEN, DIANE (MRO) (1986)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 26May2007
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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