Lampsilis dolabraeformis - (I. Lea, 1838)
Altamaha Pocketbook
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lampsilis dolabraeformis (I. Lea, 1838) (TSN 80001)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.117633
Element Code: IMBIV21060
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 dolabraeformis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 19Mar2009
Global Status Last Changed: 01Mar2007
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This species is endemic to the Altamaha River system, Georgia; with a recent occurrence on the Savannah River. It is declining in the Ohoopee River and is very rare in the Oconee River but appears to be increasing otherwise in the system.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4 (01Mar2007)

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 Georgia (S3)

Other Statuses

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

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 250-1000 square km (about 100-400 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species is endemic to the Altamaha River system in Georgia, including the Savannah, Ogeechee, and Altamaha Rivers (Simpson, 1914). This species is most common in the upper Altamaha River and lower Ocmulgee River, and is very rare in the Oconee and Ohoopee rivers (G. Keferl, pers. comm., 2000) with recent occurrences in the Savannah River in Screven Co. (J. Wisniewski, GA NHP, pers. comm., January 2009).

Area of Occupancy: 126-2,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Historically, this species was known from four occurrences in the Ocmulgee River system, three in the Oconee River system, and seven in the Altamaha River (Johnson 1970). It was found at 39 sites in a 1993 to 1997 survey of the Altamaha River basin (G. Keferl, pers. comm., 2000). Based on 241 sites sampled prior to 2000 and 120 sites sampled after 2000, pre-2000 site occupancy in the Altamaha basin in Georgia is estimated at 37% (90 sites) and post-2000 site occupancy at 87% (104 sites) (Wisniewsky et al., 2005). It is somewhat common and widespread along the Altamaha and lower Ohoopee rivers, where it is endemic; and occurs on the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests (confluence of Falling Creek and the Ocmulgee River), Jones Co., Georgia (John Alderman, pers. comm., 2007). Also a few sites are known from in the Savannah River (Screven Co. on the South Carolina line) (J. Wisniewski, GA NHP, pers. comm., January 2009).

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Over 1,400 live specimens were found when the Altamaha River basin was surveyed from 1993 to 1997, and this species was the fourth most common mussel found during the survey (G. Keferl, pers. comm., 2000). In a survey of 131 stations (93 Altamaha River, 19 Ocmulgee River, 5 Oconee River, 4 Ohoopee River, 10 Little Ocmulgee River), 1306 specimens were found at 83 stations (anonymous, 1995).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few to few (1-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: It is somewhat common and widespread along the Altamaha and lower Ohoopee rivers, where it is endemic; and occurs on the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests (confluence of Falling Creek and the Ocmulgee River), Jones Co., Georgia (John Alderman, pers. comm., 2007).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Sedimentation as a result of poor land management practices and urbanization, pollution, eutrophication, extremely low water levels due to withdrawls, and bank and streambed destabilization are considered primary threats. Although nutrient concentrations in the Altamaha River system are lower than many other rivers on the U.S. East Coast, there appears to be some impact of development in the watershed with the greatest threat increased water withdrawel that will decrease flushing times thereby increasing the otherwise minor impact found from nutrient loading in the system (Weston et al., 2003).

Short-term Trend: Increase of >10%
Short-term Trend Comments: This species is stable or increasing in most areas, but this species is declining in the Ohoopee River and is very rare in the Oconee River (G. Keferl, pers. comm., 2000). Based on 241 sites sampled prior to 2000 and 120 sites sampled after 2000, pre-2000 site occupancy in the Altamaha basin in Georgia is estimated at 37% (90 sites) and post-2000 site occupancy at 87% (104 sites) (Wisniewsky et al., 2005).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Re-survey populations in the Ohoopee and Oconee River systems, including historical EOs. Survey the Ogeechee River system, since there is some speculation this species occurs there. Monitor known populations in the Altamaha River and determine their viability (i.e., recruitment).

Distribution
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Global Range: (250-1000 square km (about 100-400 square miles)) This species is endemic to the Altamaha River system in Georgia, including the Savannah, Ogeechee, and Altamaha Rivers (Simpson, 1914). This species is most common in the upper Altamaha River and lower Ocmulgee River, and is very rare in the Oconee and Ohoopee rivers (G. Keferl, pers. comm., 2000) with recent occurrences in the Savannah River in Screven Co. (J. Wisniewski, GA NHP, pers. comm., January 2009).

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 state or province

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States GA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
GA Ben Hill (13017), Coffee (13069), Jeff Davis (13161), Telfair (13271)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Middle Savannah (03060106), Lower Oconee (03070102), Upper Ocmulgee (03070103), Lower Ocmulgee (03070104)+, Little Ocmulgee (03070105), Altamaha (03070106), Ohoopee (03070107)
+ 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 large freshwater mussel
Reproduction Comments: O'Brien (2002) identified Gambusia holbrooki (eastern mosquitofish) and Micropteris salmoides (largemouth bass) as glochidial hosts.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Frequently found in silty sand or mud along stable banks, but Lampsilis dolabraeformis is one of a few mussels that is also found along sand bars in moderately coarse sand in current (Heard, 1975). It can also live in shifting sand bars (G. Keferl, pers. comm., 2000).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Identify host fish. Only one host fish (largemouth bass) has been identified for L. DOLABRAEFORMIS, and others may exist (C. O'Brien, pers. comm. 2000). Determine specific effects of sedimentation and increased turbidity on visual lures used to attract host fish.
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: 19Mar2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J. (2009); Brim Box, J. and C. O'Brien (2000)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 01Feb2007
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
  • Anonymous. 1995. Status survey on three endemic fresh-water mussels found in the Altamaha River system. Triannual Unionid Report, 7: 6-7.

  • Bogan, A.E. 2002. Workbook and key to the freshwater bivalves of North Carolina. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences: Raleigh, North Carolina. 101 pp.

  • Heard, W.H. 1975. Determination of the endangered status of freshwater clams of the Gulf and Southeastern states. Report for the Office of Endangered Species, Bureau of Fisheries and Wildlife, U.S. Department of the Interior. Washington, D.C. 31 pp.

  • Howard, A.D. 1915. Some exceptional cases of breeding among the Unionidae. The Nautilus 29:4-11.

  • Lefevre, G. and W.T. Curtis. 1912. Studies on the reproduction and artificial propogation of fresh-water mussels. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries 30:102-201.

  • Moyle, P. and J. Bacon. 1969. Distribution and abundance of molluscs in a fresh water environment. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 35(2/3):82-85.

  • O'Brien, C. 2002. Host identification for three freshwater mussel species endemic to the Altamaha River, Georgia. Ellipsaria, 4(1): 17.

  • Simpson, C.T. 1914. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naiades or Pearly Fresh-water Mussels. Bryant Walker: Detroit, Michigan. 1540 pp.

  • Strayer, D. 1983. The effects of surface geology and stream size on freshwater mussel (Bivalvia, Unionidae) distribution in southeastern Michigan, U.S.A. Freshwater Biology 13:253-264.

  • Strayer, D.L. 1999a. Use of flow refuges by unionid mussels in rivers. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 18(4):468-476.

  • Strayer, D.L. and J. Ralley. 1993. Microhabitat use by an assemblage of stream-dwelling unionaceans (Bivalvia) including two rare species of Alasmidonta. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 12(3):247-258.

  • 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.

  • Van der Schalie, H. 1938a. The naiad fauna of the Huron River in southeastern Michigan. Miscellaneous Publication of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 40:7-78.

  • Watters, G.T. 1992a. Unionids, fishes, and the species-area curve. Journal of Biogeography 19:481-490.

  • Weston, N.B., J. Hollibaugh, J. Sandow, and S. Joye. 2003. Nutrients and dissolved organic matter in the Altamaha River and loading to the coastal zone. Proceedings of the 2003 Georgia Water Resource Conference, 23-24 April 2003, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. 4 pp.

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

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

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Wisniewski, J.M., G. Krakow, and B. Albanese. 2005. Current status of endemic mussels in the lower Ocmulgee and Altamaha Rivers. In K.J. Hatcher (ed.) Proceedings of the Georgia Water Resources Conference, 25-27 April 2005, Athens, Georgia. 2 pp.

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